By Scott L. Miley
The Herald Bulletin
ANDERSON, Ind. —
Five Thanksgivings ago, country singing duo Joey Martin and Rory Feek were in the audience at a taping of one of the “Gaither Homecoming” shows in Alexandria.
The cameras panned across the audience where Joey and Rory were sitting. After the taping, the producers offered to show segments to the audience.
“Joey wanted to see the part where we were, like where you could see us in the audience,” recalled Feek. “And I couldn’t bear to watch. I remember saying, ‘I don’t ever want to see myself on TV. I don’t want anything like that whatsoever. That was my worst nightmare.“
At the time, Joey told him, “I have a feeling you’re going to have to get over that one day.”
Since then, Rory Feek, a popular country songwriter, has overcome any hesitation in performing in public.
He and his wife, Joey Martin, an Alexandria native, have been singing as Joey+Rory in concert since 2008. This year, they started the weekly variety “The Joey+Rory Show,” which is recorded in front of an audience of nearly 200 outside their Pottsville, Tenn., home. The “old school variety” show airs on RFD-TV at 9 p.m. Fridays.
The TV show, Feek said, allows them to play the kind of country music they love and stay true to their roots.
“Our music just kind of is not where country music is going. Rather than change directions on that, we came around and said look, we’ve got to be able to find another way to share in a real way,” Feek said.
They found a way to sing their style while recording the show at their Pottsville home, even editing there, too. They’re currently filming the second season.
Last year, Joey+Rory also began a homecoming-style concert based on their 2011 “Farmhouse Christmas” CD.
The duo will return to Anderson on Friday to bring ”Joey+Rory, A Farmhouse Christmas” to the Paramount Theatre, 1124 Meridian Plaza. Tickets for the 7:30 p.m. concert are $15 apiece and can be purchased at the box office or online.
Part of the show will include songs from the 2012 CD, “His and Hers,” on which the two swap lead singing roles on six songs each. Mostly acoustic, the concert will include the couple’s daughter, Heidi, on backing vocals.
“It will be more homespun in that sense and very intimate,” said Martin
The Paramount concert will also allow Martin to visit her family who live in the area.
“The Paramount is one of my all-time favorite theaters and places to go visit,” said Martin.
“When I was a little girl, I watched one of the Gaither Homecomings there and it was just one of those dreams that I would one day get to play this theatre.
“When I was 19 or 20, Jerry Clower did a show there and I got to open for him and it was such a thrill. So anytime we’re home, we try to figure a way to play the place where I really want to play and that’s the Paramount.
She added, “It’s been a nice marriage where you can come home, spend time with your mom and dad and all your nieces and nephews and play a show at one of my favorite theaters. So it’s the ultimate Thanksgiving weekend.”