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September 18, 2010

Joey + Rory go for familiar in 'Album Number Two'

POTTSVILLE, Tenn. — The country singing duo Joey Martin and Rory Feek should have been feeling job pressure on a recent morning.

As Joey+Rory, they were aware of the scrutiny that would surround the follow-up to their 2008 “The Life of a Song,” and its hit, “Cheater, Cheater.” As if to ward off stress, the couple would simply title the second disc “Album Number 2.” The album was released Tuesday.

But on that morning earlier this summer, Martin was slicing bananas and baking bread at Marcy Jo’s Mealhouse, a home cookin’ restaurant she co-owns with sister-in-law Marcy Gary in southern Tennessee.

Feek, dressed in traditional overalls, pulled up to the tin-roofed, wooden restaurant in his classic aqua-toned 1952 Oldsmobile  — with its bold “Cheater” vanity plate. He greeted diners who wanted to hear about the couple’s recent shows.

The atmosphere was calm for the couple who won the Academy of Country Music’s Top New Duo of the Year award in April. Martin and Feek are comfortable with the intermingling of   their songs, relationship and public image on “Number 2.”

“It’s not just singing songs off your record,” said Martin, sitting at a dining room table among country knick-knacks nailed to wood walls.

"It’s telling a story, telling funny things, things about our marriage and things about life, and the farm and Marcy Jo’s ... so it’s not just an album you’re listening to. That’s why it’s so important that we include those aspects of it."

Feek sat next to her, fiddling with a laptop computer through which he helps edit the duo’s videos. He’s a spouse who prefers studio work; Martin prefers singing.

"Joey is all about the moment on stage, that’s her favorite part," Feek said. "I’m all about everything but the moment on stage."

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