Joey+Rory Find Their Own Way

A non-traditional method works for these traditional stars.

Country singers learn early in their careers that they have to have support and airplay from country radio in order to achieve the kind of megasuccess that includes No. 1 records, platinum albums and sold-out tours.

They spend months on their “promo tour,” visiting radio stations to meet programmers and air talent, playing free shows and buying lots of steak dinners to build relationships with those gatekeepers.

For Joey+Rory, it wasn’t so much about No. 1 records and platinum albums, but it took doing it to figure that out.

“We did radio for three or four years, and it seemed like every time we would go out and do more radio tour with a new album, a new single, a new everything, it just kind of felt like we were chasing something that, for our music and the artists that we are, was not attainable,” Joey tells Country Weekly.

“We got to a place where it was just defeating. And you would come home from a trip and think, ‘Gosh, we were gone for so long, was that worth it? What are we chasing? What are we trying to accomplish here?’”

After playing a free show for a radio station, they figured it out. Joey continues, “We were singing to a bunch of people who weren’t paying attention, they were just having a big time at a Boo Bash.

I told Rory, ‘I will never ask you to come out and do this again.’ I remember that night so well. I was embarrassed for him because all he was doing is championing me and being supportive of me and what I wanted in my career.

“And at that moment, I realized that wasn’t what I wanted. That wasn’t what our music was about. Our music was about us and connecting and trying to touch an audience who appreciated or understood or cared, and that was the niche for us.”

To read more of their story and to see the niche that they have carved for themselves, pick up the Sept. 16 issue of Country Weekly, on stands now.

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