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In Rotation: Joey + Rory blend sharp humor and sincerity

In Rotation: Joey + Rory blend sharp humor and sincerity
Country duo Joey + Rory’s third album is “His and Hers.”
(Rick Diamond / Getty Images)

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Joey + Rory’s “His and Hers,” the third album from the husband-wife duo Joey and Rory Feek, is a balanced blend of traditional country deep emotion and good-humored irreverence that turns the spotlight more often on hubby Rory’s modestly engaging voice after this collection’s two predecessors chiefly showcased Joey’s sparkling singing.

The opening track, “Josephine,” is set against the Civil War but skillfully probes the multiplicity of emotions all soldiers go through not knowing if or when they might come home. Led by Rory’s winsome vocals, “When I Grow Up” visits the average-Joe territory Garth Brooks plied so well in his prime in a charming and lighthearted song about the stuffy qualities that are often attached to society’s idea of what defines adulthood.

The duo invoke the lively sound of 1950s Sun Records in the frisky “Let’s Pretend We Never Met,” while “A Bible and a Belt” is certain to incite debate over its proclamation of the necessity of both items in the raising of children.

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They’ve got a certified tear-jerker in “When I’m Gone,” a slice of advice from a loved one who knows she won’t always be around, and “Teaching Me to Love You” is one of those country message songs that too often sinks into bathos, but Rory’s delivery deftly dances around sappy sentimentality.

The homespun feel of it all dovetails warmly with the mostly acoustic instrumental backing, fleshed out with judiciously applied Nashville orchestration.

Joey + Rory

“His and Hers”

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(Vanguard/Sugar Hill)

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