THE ROYS, “New Day Dawning,” Rural Rhythm. Seven tracks.
I have to say, I’m not a fan of these downsized albums that seem to be growing in acceptance in bluegrass circles. Seven tracks is just enough to whet your appetite.
Yeah, it’s cheaper than a full-sized album.
But The Roys — the brother-sister duo of Lee and Elaine Roy — make the kind of music that you want to last as long as it can.
And seven tracks is barely a taste.
Born in Massachusetts and raised in Canada, the duo is making its mark on the bluegrass circuit with traditional vocals and progressive instrumentation as well as strong material that the Roys write themselves.
Their first album on the Rural Rhythm label — “Lonesome Whistle” — debuted at No. 7 on Billboard’s Bluegrass Albums chart last year. Two of the singles — “Coal Minin’ Man” and “Trailblazer” — charted.
The label is sending out “Still Standing” — a hard-charging song written by the duo and featuring Elaine Roy on lead vocals — as the first single.
The song tells the story of a woman who’s been knocked around by life, but is still standing.
It’s not the album’s best work though.
That would be “Daddy To Me” and “Grandpa’s Barn” — a pair of nostalgic ballads co-written and sung by Lee Roy.
The first is about a father’s funeral and the stories his friends tell about him.
The second is about the death of a well-loved grandfather.
There’s not a weak song on the album.
“New Day Dawning,” sung by Elaine Roy, is an uptempo song about hope for the future.
“Windin’ Roads,” sung by Lee Roy, is an uptempo number about a man finding in his windshield what he once couldn’t wait to put in his rear-view mirror — home.
“Living Scrapbook,” sung by Elaine Roy, is another nostalgia piece, tracing a person’s life through photographs on the wall.
And “Fast As We Roll,” sung by Lee Roy, is an uptempo song about time that passes too quickly.
Strong album by a good new duo.
Can’t find it in stores? Try http://www.TheRoysOnline.com.