Joey + Rory
Album Number Two
There is no sophomore slump for husband-wife duo, Joey+Rory, though the album’s title song displays a tongue in cheek awareness that doesn’t take the possibility for granted. As it was with their first album, their second album is a hybrid of sounds in true, producer, Carl Jackson fashion. A mix of hard core country, bluegrass, folk, acoustic and even contemporary touches are all present, woven together to form a sonically crisp and organic feel. The main difference between the two albums is that Rory takes the lead once in awhile on this album, which was Joey’s sole responsibility last time out.
By now, we are all aware of Joey Martin’s and Rory Feek’s genuine love for each other. We see it in their public interactions and we hear it in their songs. As they share singing duties on “Born to Be Your Woman”, we hear a sweet love declaration between a husband and wife. They also express the value that they place on their relationship on the gentle, “That’s Important to me.”
Their love clearly doesn’t only exist in cerebral form, however, as they seem equally connected when they let loose and show their sense of humor as is evident in the title track, “God Help My Man”, “Baby, I’ll Come Back to You”, and “You Ain’t Right”.
“God Help My Man” starts out sounding as if it’s going to be another pretty love song, but we soon learn that Joey has no qualms about laying down the gauntlet when necessary, as she quietly, but bitingly, warns: “God Help my man if he’s fooling around/If he’s fooling around with some hussy he knows/While I’m rocking his babies and washing his clothes/If he thinks he can come home and climb into my bed/He’s got a fryin’ pan comin’ upside of his head.”
Also along the humorous track, the duo gives us one of the cleverest name dropping songs that there is. “Baby, I’ll Come Back to You” not only checks many country music names, but humorously references aspects of country artists that only country music fans might find amusing: “Now, I’m not sayin’ there’s no chance at all/But it don’t take no crystal ball/To see the chance is mighty slim,/Chris Gaines or me are comin’ back again.”
The album isn’t just love and games, however, as some of its most meaningful moments are quietly and effectively captured in the touching story song of “The Horse Nobody Could Ride”, the spiritual “Where Jesus Is”, and Rory’s intimate tribute to his father in the piano driven “My Ol’ Man that depicts a tough, but selfless and supportive father.
Measuring and identifying sincerity and authenticity is ultimately a subjective exercise, but if it’s ever at all tangible, Joey and Rory are the people who seem to effortlessly exude the traits in both life and song. As simply stated in “That’s Important to Me”, they explain: “Believing our dreams will take us somewhere/Still being ourselves if we ever get there/That’s important to me.”