The sibling duo The Roys has grown very rapidly in the esteem of bluegrass and country music aficionados, and with damn good reason: their work is simultaneously purist and modern, exquisitely crafted, and irresistible. Elaine Roy's clear sweet voice is extremely easy on the ears, and Lee Roy's own refrains take one back to the high period of the folk-mellow era. Beyond that, though, they really know how write a song and select band members, especially banjo players (and Justin Moses just shines all through this delicious lengthy EP-CD), who perfectly integrate into each cut: standing out in catchy musical quotes, standing behind to matrix the duo, and standing beside to surround the Roys' vocals like a warm summer's afternoon.
There's always a generous helping of down-home sentiment, family feeling Christian sprituality, and story-telling in the Roys' work…and then, of course, a good deal of heel-kicking and dancing around the room, as in Still Standing, a spirited ditty of romantic loss and subsequent self discovery, but, lord lord lord, the pickin' 'n grinnin'! Makes ya want to bust out all over. Anyone who digs Southern music—whether fans of Poco, the New Riders, Marshall Tucker, Waylon, Willie, the Rural Rhythm and Pine Castle labels, the Man in Black, or any of a myriad of exceptional acts out there (including folkies like Dan Fogelberg, with whom Lee Roy shares more than a few sonic and literary traits)—has to love this one, it's a done deal, son, and the briefest listen to any cut here will reveal why.
Finally, regarding Anthony Ladd, designer, with whom I've had a couple rather serious knock-down drag-out disagreements (and still do), I have to admit he outdid himself and everyone else on the art production in this CD's presentation, every aspect of which is 100% exceptional, perfectly balanced, and intelligent…as befits the music and act. It catches the eye in order to catch the ear. And if you get on it right now, you can obtain the 20-minute EP for just $6 (including shipping and handling!), before it hits the stores on 8/28/12. I almost never mention pricing, but that's a stone cold bargain, and you'll be kicking yourself if you don't grab this one.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2012, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
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