Songcraft: Spotlight on Songwriters Podcast

Rory Feek

Ep. 65 - Rory Feek of Joey + Rory

This Life He Lives: Traditional Country's Modern Day Storyteller

* Click the orange play button below to begin listening now.

Paul and Scott call up Rory for a wide-ranging conversation about why he wanted to make sure he was the bad guy in his own memoir; how stalking songwriting legend Harlan Howard helped jump start his career; why the first thing his future wife Joey ever said to him caught him completely off guard; his unforgettable breakfast with Waylon Jennings; why he needs mentors and heroes; how his onstage and offstage persona became the same thing; what he means when he says the most important thing in life is "showing up"; and the reason he hasn't written a song in years (and has no plans to write one anytime soon, either).     

Singer/songwriter Rory Feek has written multiple #1 country hits for other artists, including Collin Raye's "Someone You Used to Know,” Clay Walker's "The Chain of Love," Blake Shelton’s “Some Beach,” and Easton Corbin’s “A Little More Country Than That.” Other songs from his catalog that have landed in the Top 20 are Tracy Byrd’s “The Truth About Men,” Blaine Larsen’s “How Do You Get That Lonely,” and Jimmy Wayne’s “I Will.” Additionally, his songs have been recorded by Kenny Chesney, Randy Travis, Reba McEntire, Trisha Yearwood, Mark Wills, Waylon Jennings, Charley Pride, The Oak Ridge Boys, John Michael Montgomery, Terri Clark, and Lorrie Morgan.

In 2008 Rory formed the duo Joey + Rory with his wife, Joey Martin Feek, for the CMT show Can You Duet. Their popularity led to an ACM award for Top New Vocal Duo of the Year, their own TV show, eight successful albums, and a handful of charting singles, including the self-penned songs “Cheater Cheater” and “That’s Important to Me.” Rory’s identity as a storyteller extends beyond his songs to include screenplays, TV scripts, and a popular blog, which earned a loyal following as he shared his family’s pain, triumphs, fears, and deep personal faith during Joey’s battle with terminal cervical cancer.

The duo’s final album, Hymns That Are Important to Us, was released in 2016, less than a month before Joey passed away at age 40. It debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Country Albums chart, was certified Gold, and earned the duo a Grammy for Best Roots Gospel Album. Rory’s memoir, This Life I Live, chronicles his spiritual journey, his love story with Joey, and his disarmingly vulnerable musings on his role in what he calls “God’s larger story.”


Songcraft's Rory Feek Playlist: Spotify users can select the song you'd like to hear below, or simply start the player and enjoy a handful of Rory's songs recorded by other artists, followed by some highlights from Joey + Rory's artist career. If you don't have a Spotify account, follow the prompts to sign up for free. Click this link to take you directly to the playlist in the Spotify web player.