For those of you who have joined the 2 million followers of Joey and Rory
Feek through her cancer and eventual passing 3 years ago, their story is legendary stuff. This weekend Rory spent the weekend with us, in our house, making hay, and singing his incomparable songs to the interns.
What a special weekend. For those who don't know, he's one of the top country music songwriters alive today and has worked with all the top names. His book This Life I Live came into my hands a couple of months ago. I picked it up at 1 p.m. on a Sunday afternoon and read it straight through until 6 p.m., weeping through most of it.
It's a story of forgiveness, mistakes, spiritual renewal and love. His wife, Joey, it turns out, avidly read my books and even talked him into a visit to Polyface several years ago. I was not familiar with his writing and his celebrity status until I read the book, but since reading it, I've learned how many people followed Joey's illness and passing. Wow.
He's the real deal: completely country (wears bib overalls everywhere, even to church), gracious beyond words and definitely interested in every story he can find. As a writer, I know how hard it is to write catchy lyrics that rhyme so I was mesmerized Friday evening after supper when he picked up a guitar and serenaded us for nearly an hour with his litany of songs. They're all nestled in agrarian themes from chores to countryside to chickens.
He says he wants to come to Polyface and do a concert. Watch for that in 2020. If we can coordinate that with the Mother Earth News Fair July 17-18, that would be cool. But if not, it will be a stand-alone. I'm not an avid country music fan, but I do love songs that tell stories. The ballads of Burl Ives come to mind. I like the songs that bring tears to my eyes, the kind that touch me in the soul. That's the kind of song-stories Rory brings to us and what a delight to enjoy him for a couple of days.
He has a farm, a concert hall, and a one-room school on his land just outside of Nashville. Something about soil, life, and biology creates a recipe for profound thoughts. Translated into music, these thoughts touch us deeply and few are as gifted as Rory. Stay tuned because we plan to share him.
Have you ever heard of Rory and Joey Feek?