Joey + Rory

His and Hers

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Rory Lee Feek and Joey Martin Feek, husband and wife, began their musical careers as separate solo artists, and both had some middling success, but the spotlight finally found them after they had met and married. They performed as a duo on the Can You Duet television show in 2008 and came out of it with a recording contract. Joey has a voice that sounds a bit like Dolly Parton, only stronger, and Rory has a strong voice as well, plays some good guitar, and both are precise and savvy songwriters, separately as well as together. They know how to harmonize with each other, and on the duo's first two studio albums, that was a clear highlight, along with the extraordinary songwriting. This third studio outing, though, is a little bit different, although it's hardly a deep departure. The album is called His and Hers (also the title of one of the songs) because the pair alternate lead vocals from song to song, beginning with Rory's "Josephine," a beautifully written and sung narrative set during the Civil War, to Joey's "When I'm Gone," a moving ballad that spotlights her immediate and emotional vocal style. Yeah, she does sound like Dolly Parton, but she has more soul and grit somehow. Perhaps the album's most stunning song, on an album that has several, is Rory's "Teaching Me How to Love You," which is a wise reminder that each person we fall in love with teaches us something, good or bad, that allows us to eventually find our way to a love that works and endures, remembers, and redeems. This is a beautiful acoustic album, full of warm, unassuming nuance (it was produced by Gary Paczosa), and if it suggests that Joey and Rory may be thinking about solo careers again, it isn't an album that feels split into two parts. The couple's songs seem linked and part of the same quilt, all one, as they say.

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