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Joey + Rory

Country Classics: A Tapestry Of Our Musical Heritage – 2014 (Gaither Music Group)

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

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CDs by Joey + Rory

With their dedication to traditional country sounds, you may be a little surprised by Joey + Rory's song choices on the covers album, "Country Classics: A Tapestry Of Our Musical Heritage." There isn't a George Jones or Merle Haggard tune in the bunch! Although all these songs are fine ones, many of them were also big hits. For instance, the pair sing Crystal Gayle's big hit, "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue," as well as John Denver's "Back Home Again."

You get the impression these were the songs that got turned up loud whenever they came over the radio. Although hits, many of these songs are simply great songs. There's the environmentalism of "Rocky Top," as well as the ode to motherly love with Dolly Parton's "Coat of Many Colors." Although Joey sings the most of these songs with that sweet voice of hers, Rory does a memorable job with "Rocky Top." He also finger-snaps his way through Roger Miller's "King of the Road." The two also harmonize beautifully during "If I Needed You." The latter also features some really simple, yet beautiful, fiddle playing.

The best thing about this 14-track album is how it starkly contrasts with the empty-headed-ness of today's bro-country. Yes, Virginia, you can create country hit songs of substance. Joey + Rory have given us a brief survey of country music's rich past. Let's hope future artists learn from these pioneers and right country music's sinking ship.