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.”
Amazon is offering a code today, in place of their Daily Deal, where you can get $3 off of any one of 35 choices of albums. The choices include the Robert Plant Rounder release, Jamey Johnson’s, James Otto’s, and Joey+Rory’s new albums. The code is “PICKDEAL”.
I like this album a lot. I think it’s better than their first one.
This is encouraging; I enjoyed their debut album. I don’t really trust any other online reviewing sites, but I’ve been impressed with the level of criticism here.
Also, I believe Joey would hit a guy with a frying pan.
I didn’t care for the single “This Song’s for You” but your description of the rest of the album makes it seem promising and other blog reviews seem to share you enthusiasm. I did like their debut cd.
You say that “By now, we are all aware of Joey Martin’s and Rory Feek’s genuine love for each other.” Hope you’re right. When I read this, John Denver’s intro to “Annie’s Song” on his great live album, “An Evening with John Denver” immediately came to mind. He said that “through this next song I have the pleasure of sharing with you people the love that I feel for my lovely wife Annie”.
I hope Joey and Rory’s love is stronger than John Denver’s and Annie’s turned out to be. Joey would surely have had to hit John over the head with a frying pan if she’d been married to him. Love that Denver album though.
Btw, “This Song’s for You” is nothing like the rest of the album. In fact, I didn’t mention it in the review, but that song was the only one not produced by Carl Jackson; Keith Stegal produced that one.
I got to see Joey + Rory perform live last November when they opened for Patty Loveless at the Ryman. They performed some songs from this album, including “That’s Important to Me” and “God Help My Man.” Even after only hearing those songs once, they still made an impression on my memory. I got to meet Joey and Rory after the show, and they were as friendly and down-to-earth as good be, which is not surprising at all.
I will definitely be buying this album, and I am still praying that Joey + Rory will one day be embraced by country radio.
Enjoyed the review, Leeann. Makes me all the more eager to hear the whole album for myself! I’ll probably review it on the 1-to-10 if I get a chance.
Thanks to you too, Travis.
I kinda forgot about “This Song’s for You.” Probably because it was generic, commercialized mainstream country with thoughtless, pandering lyrics. I just figured all of those elements came from Zac Brown and Joey + Rory went along with it because they were tourmates and because ZBB has (inexplicably) enjoyed much greater exposure and acclaim.
this was unexpectedly good…most sophomore albums usually don’t do well as the first one…
Yes, this is a lovely record. BTW, Randy Travis recorded You Ain’t Right for his last hits compilation.
Yes, he did. His version actually has more of the jovial feel that I think the song intended.
I Loved their song “Cheater Cheater Where’d you meet that no good low down ho.” I bet that girl in that song was handing out jeff smokers to all the guys in her town. So trashy. She’d probably even give one to Mr Belvedere.
Speaking of Mr Belvedere, I just wanna say, “Streaks on the china never matterred before…”
I finally bought this from Amazon a while back and forgot to come back here now that I’ve played it. What I really admire about this album–other than its organic, acoustic arrangements that are soothing to hear–is how many songs touch on material that is usually reduced to bumper sticker jingoism in contemporary country. For instance, “Where Jesus Is” could easily have been yet another “Country folk are Christians” song, but it’s more sincere and thoughtful than that. There’s almost a solemnity about Joey’s vocals here that makes the song appealing even to someone like me with a very low tolerance for the subject matter.
Also, on “That’s Important to Me,” there was a danger of the song becoming the kind of thing that a politician would co-opt for a campaign, but instead the arrangement and the sincerity of Joey’s voice makes it tender and touching instead. Other artists would have been too defiant (I’m looking at you, Gretchen Wilson), and missed the point of the song, which is not to pass judgment on others with different priorities or values, but to simply share with us what matters to Joey.
I’m a huge Waylon fan, and the basic appeal of him was his authenticity; if he sang it, you could believe it. It sounds simple enough, but it’s much more rare than I’d once realized. Joey has that kind of authenticity.
I love this song it’s freaking amazing! Give to all the cheating hubby and boyfriends. Tell them we could move on and they can stay with that trash hoe.