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Joey + Rory

Joey+Rory - His & Hers – 2012 (Sugar Hill)

Reviewed by Michael Rampa

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On their third release, "His and Hers," husband and wife duo Joey and Rory practice their marital vows quite literally. The couple split the vocal duties right down the middle, alternating lead on each of the 12 tracks. It was a conscious decision to give listeners a feel for each of their voices. The duo is best known for finishing third on CMT's 2008 show Can You Duet and for their single, Cheater Cheater.

The opener Josephine is an emotional letter from a Civil War soldier expressing the angst from a long separation from his loved ones. Rory convincingly delivers again on A Bible and a Belt, a simple tale about being raised old school. "One my mama read to me until I was well into my teens. I thought all the other one was for was to hold up daddy's jeans.

Until I told a lie and learned it had another purpose too. Out behind the shed, my daddy said, "This will hurt me more than you."

The album wraps with His and Hers, a journey that begins with sweet images of matching embroidered robes and wedding bands and closes with a scene in divorce court. The mood transition is deftly handled by the melancholy of the pedal steel.

In stark contrast to the tone of the title track, the album's strength is the intimate themes woven throughout that are rooted in the couple's strong 10-year marriage and their ability to incorporate Rory's songwriting skills with Joey's silky delivery.