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The Roys: Bluegrass Brother-Sister Duet

Lee and Elaine Roy are easily the most successful brother-sister duet in bluegrass today. It’s an easy distinction. There have been plenty of brother acts in bluegrass through the years, but brother-sister acts are rare.

The Roys were born in Massachusetts, raised in Canada and headed to Nashville in 2011 to record their first album for Rural Rhythm Records — Lonesome Whistle. It was followed by New Day Dawning in 2012.

Gypsy Runaway Train, the title cut and first single off the new album, is a song about traveling musicians who roll into town and “step out on that stage, open up our hearts and let our fingers fly.”

The Roys wrote six songs on the album and if they’re a little sad, well, Lee’s father-in-law died and Elaine’s divorce was finalized while they were working on the album

She turns in a stellar performance on Johnny Bond’s country classic, I Wonder Where You Are Tonight as well as her own Half of Me, a song about a lost love that hurts so bad “that the stillness in the air makes it hard to breathe.”

Lee’s Another Minute was written about their grandfather. But the message, “Lord, what I wouldn’t give for just another minute with him,” can apply to anyone who’s missed.

Originals include You Can Count On My Love, Workin’ On It and Enough For Me.

Other songs include Bill Monroe’s Blue Moon of Kentucky, which begins as a mournful ballad and quickly kicks into overdrive; Merle Haggard’s Ramblin Fever; Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs’ He Took Your Place; and Alan O’Bryant’s Those Memories Of You.

A good album by a duo that just keeps getting better.