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Entertainment News

Sunday, 15 March, 2009 1:18 PM

CMA New Artist Spotlight: The Roys

Photo by Joe Hardwick

Pedestal recording artists The Roys

By Bob Doerschuk
© 2009 CMA Close Up News Service

It's tempting to say that the easy affinity displayed by The Roys can be explained by their history as brother and sister raised by French Canadian parents in Fitchburg, Mass., and in the tiny town of Coal Branch, New Brunswick, Canada.

That's only half the story, though. Plenty of siblings fall short of the talent that Elaine and Lee Roy exhibit. There's enough looseness in their harmonies and distinction in their timbres to establish each as an individually gifted singer. And their joy over making music adds dimension to their most heartbroken ballads and infuses their uptempo tracks with the playfulness that siblings often share.

They came to Nashville, survived a major record label deal gone bad, went back to Fitchburg to tighten their act and then returned to Music City to take control of their destiny. With their vocal coach Kenny Royster producing, they cut 12 songs, five of them co-writes by Lee and the rest of them well suited to their sound.

A single from their Pedestal Records debut album, Good Days, "Workin' Girl Blues," which Lee wrote with Royster, combines a foot-stomp beat, swampy guitar and the feisty fatalism of a nine-to-fiver minutes away from the weekend.

But they also ease into the tropical heat of "The Good Life Paradise" and turn faded pages of memory on the fiddle caressed "Grandpa's Barn."
All of it comes to life through unaffected yet impeccable performances that herald the arrival of The Roys, who describe themselves jokingly as a "15-year overnight sensation," come at last to the dawn of an enduring career.

MUSICAL HERO

ELAINE: "Dolly Parton."
LEE: "Ricky Skaggs."

SONG YOU'D SECRETLY LOVE TO COVER

ELAINE: "'Old Flames Can't Hold a Candle to You.'"
LEE: "'Do It Right,' by Vern Gosdin."

PET PEEVE

ELAINE: "Clutter."
LEE: "Traffic."

BOOK ON YOUR NIGHTSTAND

ELAINE: "The Last Lecture, by Randy Pausch."
LEE: "A Pirate Looks at 50, by Jimmy Buffett."

CD ON YOUR STEREO

ELAINE: "Good Time, by Alan Jackson."
LEE: "Me too."

WORD OR PHRASE YOU SAY OVER AND OVER

ELAINE AND LEE: "Good luck with that."

DREAM DUET PARTNER

ELAINE: "Dolly Parton."
LEE: "Ricky Skaggs, Alan Jackson or Rhonda Vincent."

SONG YOU WISH YOU WROTE

ELAINE: "'I Will Always Love You.'"
LEE: "'What Hurts the Most.'"

MODE OF TRANSPORTATION YOU PREFER

ELAINE AND LEE: "Tour bus."

WHEN THEY LOOK BACK ON YOUR LIFE IN 50 YEARS, WHAT YOU HOPE PEOPLE SAY ABOUT YOU

ELAINE: "That they loved our music and that we touched their lives in some way."
LEE: "That our music touched them and it made them sing along."

On the Web: www.theroyscountry.com

 

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