Award-winning duo Joey+Rory release their "A Farmhouse Christmas" album on Vanguard/Sugar Hill Records today. In a unique move for holiday albums, 10 of the 12 cuts on the new cd are either new songs or cuts never released as Christmas songs.
The farmhouse Christmas theme for this album is right at home for the duo, as their personal lives are rooted in the 1870’s farmhouse where they live in the small community of Pottsville, TN. “We made this record with hopes of trying to bring the listener into our home and share a small piece of our world at Christmas time with them,” Joey says. “Christmas means so much to Joey and me,” Rory adds. “It brings on so many feelings that other times of the year just don’t. We seem to laugh (and eat) more, think deeper, reminisce more, and for a short time, most of our priorities all to come into perspective”.
“Some people might wonder why we haven’t filled this record with more of the Christmas standards,” said Rory. “Well, the truth is, we feel like that’s what everyone seems to do, and we’d rather try to add a new song or two to the list of holiday classics that people listen to every Christmas, rather than just give them another take on the songs we all know and love.”
Humor is interspersed among touching original songs that fall right in line with Joey+Rory’s faith. The Garth Brooks and Kent Blazy-penned “I Know What Santa’s Getting for Christmas” is nothing but playful fun, and “What the Hell, It’s the Holidays” is as entertaining as it is irreverent. The spend-the-holiday-at-the-beach themed anthem “Let It Snow (Somewhere Else) that Joey+Rory wrote with James Slater and Tim Johnson, was aptly penned while at a songwriter festival in Key West. And “Another Wonderful Christmas” shows that the holidays are,at times,more like “Christmas Vacation” than “It’s a Wonderful Life” around the Feek household.
Rory wrote the beautiful original album opener “It’s Christmas Time” during a visit to Joey’s family farmhouse in Indiana. “I woke up one morning and found myself thinking about what it must have been like when Joey was a little girl, waking up all those Christmas mornings in that very house.” Montana’s own Stephanie Davis wrote “The Diamond O” and “The Gift” for the album, the latter of which Rory calls, “an absolute masterpiece.” Of Joey’s personal favorite on the album, “Remember Me,” Rory says, “Some songs you labor and labor over and some just seem to magically write themselves. This one was all magic.”
“Away In A Manger” and “Blue Christmas” are the two solo standards on A Farmhouse Christmas, but another highlight is an unlikely song for the holidays. Merle Haggard’s “If We Make It Through December” was never meant to be a Christmas song, but Joey+Rory felt it fit perfectly. “We can’t begin to tell you what an honor it is to have Merle singing on it with us,” said Joey. “There are some dreams that even when they come true, you still think you must be dreaming… and this is one.”