The Roys - Lonesome Whistle
Lonesome Whistle, the new album by The Roys, a brother-and-sister bluegrass duo, is enjoyable and pleasant, and The Roys are talented. Some of their songs are Christian-oriented, others reflect everyday life, and their traditional style should be welcome by bluegrass fans.
I know, you’re waiting for the “but…” In Appalachia throughout the summer, any sizable town or vacation destination (such as Gatlinburg) offers music on the street, as well as in clubs and restaurants. Most of the artists that play are pleasant, enjoyable, and talented. The fact that the performances are intimate and live adds to the listener’s pleasure (as does the fact that—for a change—there’s nothing more pressing than listening to music on the street). Personalities spill over into performances, connecting musicians with their audiences.
Living in the mountains of North Carolina and often visiting Tennessee, we’ve gotten to see quite a few groups and solo performers, and most of what they’re doing is bluegrass. Here’s that “but” you were waiting for: The Roys are certainly as good as the better performers, but there’s little to distinguish them. In fact, I find myself thinking, “I’d love to hear this by…” a country or bluegrass artist who would bring a distinctive sound to the song (such as Dolly Parton or Randy Travis). “Right Back at You” is a prime candidate for a sassier performance.
The Roys are Lee and Elaine Roy who wrote (or co-wrote) and performed the songs on Lonesome Whistle. “Coal Mining Man,” “My Oh My How Time Flies,” and “Give a Ride to the Devil” are their best tracks. Guesting are Ricky Skaggs and The Whites on “That’s What Makes It Love.” I look forward to hearing more from The Roys when they give bluegrass their personal stamp.
Lonesome Whistle will be released March 22, 2011.