Lonesome Whistle by The Roys
While new country acts often establish themselves with elements of rock ’n’ roll sound and visual style designed to win the approval of younger listeners, brother-and-sister duo Lee and Elaine Roy opt for a refreshingly unadorned bluegrass approach that says “bring the family.”
On that subject, they’ve brought along Ricky Skaggs and his kin, The Whites, who add vocals on a song of selfless sacrifice, “That’s What Makes It Love.” The similarly inspirational “Give the Devil a Ride” is elevated by folksy wisdom, while the vibrant “Trailblazer” fosters a never-say-die spirit.
Though they make for a pleasant listen, many tracks here stick too close to time-tested territory to distinguish themselves beyond standard-issue acoustic music fare. The Roys’ unassuming vocal performances can sound lightweight next to the forceful instrumental work by members of Ricky Skaggs’ band, who bring a welcome bluegrass bite to the proceedings.
But if Lonesome Whistle lacks the keening whine its title implies, it sounds a sweet note for listeners who respond best to a gentler frequency.