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Joey + Rory
The Life of A Song

Review By Steven Stone
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  The husband and wife team of Joey and Rory Martin make music that falls somewhere between mainstream Nashville country and folk/pop singer-songwriter Americana. On the opening cut, "Play The Song," they establish exactly where they stand as far as labels and types of music are concerned by singing, "let the people decide if the music is right or wrong...play the song" On their first CD Joey + Rory prove that great music trumps genres.

Seven of the twelve selections on The Life of A Song are original compositions. Husband Rory has been penning hit tunes for country stars such as Clay Walker, Collin Raye, Kenny Chesney, Randy Travis, Terri Clark, Lorrie Morgan, Buck Owens and even Charlie Pride through his publishing company, Giantslayer Music, for over ten years. His better half, Joey, handles all the lead vocals on Joey + Rory. She once recorded an album for Sony Music, but it was never released. Their duo career began in early 2008 when they performed together on the CMT hit series Can You Duet? Judge Naomi Judd became an instant fan and encouraged them to continue performing together.

Besides their original compositions, Joey + Rory includes several great cover tunes. Their slowed-down version of Lynyrd Skynyrd's anthemic "Free Bird" performed with purely acoustic orchestration has a sweet melancholy that eludes the original. The Shawn Camp gem, "Tune of a Twenty Dollar Bill," is every bit as powerful here as on Camp's own version.

Perhaps because of their experiences with the country music star-maker machinery Joey and Rory opted for Sugarhill Records instead of a more mainstream label. Produced by Carl Jackson, who's known in hardcore bluegrass circles for both for his songwriting and producing prowess, this album features some of the best session players in Nashville. The final result is an album that's as full of catchy tunes as a mainstream country release, but with a more traditional and organic overall feel.

Perhaps Joey and Rory Martin will become another highly successful mainstream country act. But even if they go "Nashville" at least they forged a path to stardom on their own terms. Joey + Rory marks an auspicious beginning to what should be a very successful musical union.

 

 

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