Joey + Rory, “Cheater, Cheater”

“Cheater, Cheater”, the debut song from Joey + Rory, made me laugh out loud. This husband and wife duo, who has recently emerged from CMT’s Can You Duet, doesn’t mince words. In the song, Joey (the lead vocalist) claims “Now I’m not one to judge someone that I ain’t never met”, but continues with “But to lay your hand on a married man’s bout as low as a gal can get/Hey I wish her well as she rots in hell and you can tell her I said so/Cheater cheater where’d you meet that no good white trash ho?”

Joey + Rory (who is already a successful songwriter in his own right) seem to have definite potential. Their harmony is tight, their first single’s production is pleasantly traditional, complete with dobros and fiddles, and the song is catchy.

While “Cheater, Cheater” is unlikely to become a classic and even threatens to fall into the novelty song category, it is fun and is at least worth a few listens for amusement’s sake.

Written by Rory Feek, Joey Martin, Kristy Osmunson, and Wynn Varble

Grade: B

Listen: Cheater, Cheater

Buy: Cheater, Cheater


  1. If I owned an iPod and knew how to download singles I’d buy this one! As it is I’ll wait for the album. Definitely on my list of albums I’ll buy (which is shrinking btw).

    Is it just me or does Joey’s voice evoke memories of a young Patty Loveless? I realize Joey is not the atypical young vocalist out there but her voice has that young timbre to it. Even got a growl or two in there. Luv it! :-)

    I just love the whole country butt-kickin’ vibe. Look forward to hearing what these two do with some good ol’ ballads. This could get interesting!

  2. I really like them. Joey has a 2006 album, Strong Enough to Cry, available on eMusic. I’ll be glad to finally have a recording of this song when the album comes out, though I fear the traditional instrumentation is a little too prominent for country radio.

  3. John,
    I’m afraid you’re right. I’m glad, though, that they’re signed with Sugar Hill, because it means that they’ll probably stick with this more traditional sound.

    Emusic is evil! Ever since Matt B got me onto it, I’ve been addicted. I’ve already used up my 100 downloads in less than a week and I still have an ever growing long list of music that I want from there. I may have to upgrade my subscription…

  4. i’m a firm believer that husbands and wifes shouldn’t do eyerything together all the time. this is another good example. joey is a heck of a singer with good chances to break through on her own. next step would be a “full name”. rory’s new role? supporting his talented wife with all he’s got.

  5. I didn’t watch the show. So, did Rory ever sing lead on it? I actually think he sounds good here, but I don’t know how he’d sound in front. He is a decent songwriter though–Rory Feek as in Rory Lee Feek.

  6. Have you guys seen the music video? It came out today, and I have to say I really like them and the song. I’ll have to keep my eye on them.

  7. The more I listen to it, the more excited I get about the prospects. I’m glad for the Sugar Hill signing, too, because they’ll probably have less of an expectation to sell tons of records and will be able to keep making solid stuff like this.

  8. I’ve gotten:

    Billy Yates, the one you mentioned
    Ralph Stanley And Friends
    Gene Watson, In A Perfect World (various tacks)
    Sonny Landreth, From the Reach (various tracks)
    Leslie Satcher, Creation
    Caught In the Web: A tribute to the Legendary Webb Pierce
    2 emusic exclusives for Kathy Mattea’s Coal album

    And even Taylor Swift’s album…at 30 cents each, I couldn’t pass it up.:)

    I have a lot more on my list that I plan to get.

  9. Congrats to them on the record deal, however I am quite a bit shocked that they now decided to release “Cheater Cheater” as THEIR first single…. because the co-writer for this song (Kristy O.) and her duo BOMSHEL have been performing this song live since early January, and annouced in April/May that this would be their newest single. They were in the studio recording this clear back in March I believe…so I’m not understanding why NOW J&R think they can release it as their single, and right around the same time as the BOMSHEL single. Personally, I think this song sounds a lot more believable and powerful, if you will, with BOMSHEL singing it. BOMSHEL’s lead singer, Kelley, has one of the most amazing voices I’ve ever heard, and brings the attitude and passion that this song was originally intended for.

    Joey and Rory make a mockery of this song in their video, and Joey has a smile on her face while singing it to Rory the entire time. It’s just become a joke. This song actually has true meaning to the BOMSHEL girls.

    To hear the real version of this song visit:

  10. Yeah, congrats to Joey and Rory for getting their record deal and doing so well on Can You Duet. When I saw the preview of original song night on CYD and I heard Joey and Rory singing “Cheater Cheater”. Then comes the episode comes on, they sing the song, I’m sitting on the couch singing every word in my head, then when the judges and J&R were talking about writing the song..there was no mention of Kristy O on writing the song. There was also another person involved with writing that song. For J&R to take all the credit for that song, when they gave the song to Kristy and Bomshel..that just made me sick.

    Bomshel is the REAL owners of this song. Kelley (lead singer) makes this song how it should be. She puts the emotion, the attitude, the sassiness and everything else into the song. It’s funny how all of a sudden they want to sing this song after they sang it on CYD. Bomshel have been singing this song sing January, been promoting it as their single since at least May.

    The video..if I found out my husband was cheating on me (or even making a video about it) I’m pretty sure I would not be smiling at my husband (or duet partner) during the song. I wouldn’t be kissing him at the end of it either. It’s called ACTING, everyone that makes music videos does this.

    How in the heck can Kristy not get ANY props for writing this song? What gives J&R the write to take ALL the credit for writing this song? How can they sit there and release a video for this song, and say they are going to release the single to radio when Bomshel already had dibs on it? It’s shady, it’s low, and it’s NOT RIGHT. You want to hear the real version?? Check it out at

  11. I suspect the record company of BOMSHEL (Curb?) decided not to release it. It’s probably not quite as shadey as it seems to you.

  12. They (Curb/BOMSHEL) were/still are planning on releasing it. Last I heard, the BOMSHEL girls are still promoting this song for release on Oct 15th.

  13. Interesting.

    Also, it’s not uncommon for artists not to mention their co-writers when discussing a song in an interview.

    I don’t know what’s going on in this situation, but it’s also not the first time that two different acts have released the same song.

    Hopefully, it’s not quite as scandalous as the BOMSHEL fans are assuming it to be. It’s more likely that things have been worked out legally and professionally behind the scenes. If not, it’s the music business and situations like this happen more than we’d like. May the better version win.:)

    After work, when I have my good speakers, I’ll take a listen to the BOMSHEL version, because I’m very interested to hear this other take on the song.

  14. Well, hopefully legally this can get worked out. A lot of fans that have been to the live shows throughout the year have been really exciting and anxiously awaiting this songs release to radio, so I just feel bad with all those expectations on how great this would be. Randy Jackson (one of the American Idol judges), even had the BOMSHEL girls sing “CC” for him, and absolutely loved it and told them their song would be a hit. It’s just small things like that that get the fans all hyped up and excited for these girls to have a great response and exposure!

    Leeann, hope you do get the chance to hear their verison and enjoy it! For those of you interested, there is also a video out there from HANK from their morning show back in February when they had BOMSHEL in the studio for a live acoustic performance of “CC”, this is the first time a lot of fans were able to hear this song all over the world!! Without the full band and what not in the back you can really get the full effect of this song!

  15. I do wonder why it has taken BOMSHEL so long to actually officially release the song if they’ve been promoting it since March. There must’ve been something about it, something having to do with the record label, I suspect.

  16. BOMSHEL’s former lead singer Buffy, decided to persue her career as a solo artist..and into the picture comes Kelley! CURB offically signed Kelley June 30th of this year. So I’m guessing but maybe there were a few things contract wise, and what not, and this is one of the reason’s they picked a later release date….?

  17. I’m sorry to report that I like the J+R version better. There are elements of the Bomshel version that are good, but I think the vocals are too slow for the music. To me, the J+R version has more life/character to it. Just my opinion though, I have no emotional or musical connection to either duo, since I haven’t really heard any Bomshel music before or watched CMT’s Can You Duet.

  18. Leeann, thanks for at least listening to Bomshel’s version of the song and it’s alright that you like Joey and Rory’s version better. Remember the name Bomshel..they will be big soon.

  19. Okay, fair enough. I will be sure to keep my ears open for them. They certainly seem to have potential. Great harmony for one thing.

  20. • There is alot of new blood in country music which is making for a very exciting time for fans. A new generation in age and type of country music has emerged. Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood are bringing back the teens, including my own daughters. For my own taste I’m digging Joey and Rory, the third place contestants from CMT’s Can You Duet? Instead of turning on the local news in the mornings I am tuning into the videos on CMT in hopes of seeing their new video, Cheater, Cheater. I love their simplicity. It’s so refreshing after the gone Hollywood styles of some of the standard artists we see on the CMT countdown each week. Using orchestras and rap artists does not a country sound make. Get back to basics and you’ll rejuvenate country music and bring back a huge fan base from the Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn generation. I’m in my late 30’s and these are for me the standards of country music from whom everyone else is judged. Joey and Rory come from that generation as well and it definitely shows in their performance and their style. The next time a meeting is held to decide the list of songs on the countdown consider getting back to the country in country music, consider Joey and Rory.

  21. I saw the show thought you were both wonderful, kep watching it for the two of you and my husband and I desided things was where we would only get each other 1 thing each this year so we could get our daughter christmas, I want my 1 thing to be a Joey & Rory cd You have a forever fan in me. Mary

  22. I have loved Joey and Rory since Can You Duet. Something soothing about a couple happy in love succeed in what they love to. Keep playing their song. Those are my kind of folk.Cat.

  23. i can tell you that Rory can sing and did singalone on the CAN YOU DUET SONG. i agree with the reply above , the idea of a true loving wife and husband is great.they seem to worship each other and dont believe they would ever be the same alone.Rory just needs more confidence and he reminds me of a Don williams type of singer, i will get this cd as soon as i know they have one out.

  24. Joey + Rory are the best thing to happen to country music for many years.
    Joey’s natural beauty, Rory’s sweetness and their obvious love for each other makes them so wonderful to watch. They are talented alone, but absolutely fabulous together. Love of God, family, and an unpretentious lifestyle is a combo that can’t be beat.
    I have listened to Bomshel’s version of Cheater, Cheater and it doesn’t compare with the Joey + Rory version. I really shouldn’t compare them because I couldn’t sit through a Bomshel preformance. Noise -not talent!!!
    Joey and Rory, don’t change a thing. God put you where you are for a purpose so keep the faith and keep your love strong. You will go far.

  25. Excellent song. I’m really hoping this song regains its bullet on radio and breaks the top 20. It’s an excellent song.

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