615 Artist Spotlight: The Roys
615 Artist Spotlight: The Roys

Bluegrass Duo Releases 'New Day Dawning'

This week is a big one in the career of rising bluegrass duo The Roys. The brother-sister duo release their second project for Rural Rhythm, "New Day Dawning." It is their follow-up to their well-received "Lonesome Whistle" disc, which gave their career a huge boost.

"I always tell people that our lives went from zero to ninety in about twelve months," Elaine tells Billboard about the reception their previous release received from fans and critics. "That's the album that people started taking notice of us and our sound. It's been an incredible ride the past year and a half, and hopefully the new album will continue that journey."

Brother Lee shares the optimism of his sister. "We're so excited. It's kind of like a baby. You nurture them, and watch them grow up, and you hope that day comes where you sit them out there, and the people like it. We're at that point where we just want to get it out there and see what happens."

The duo is proud of the fact that the lyrical content on New Day Dawning is very much on the inspirational side. Lee says that is a goal for them. "We don't want to sing about negativity or try to bring people down with our music. There's enough of that going on in the world. We would rather inspire people with our music or uplift them. That's what our calling is with our music."

One song that definitely fits that description is "Fast As We Roll," which Lee says is very personal. "That is a song that I co-wrote with a couple of my buddies here in town, and it talks about having a fast pace life, and about in my case, realizing that the kids are growing up, and it won't be long until they are grown and living their lives. It kind of took a life of its' own. Every place we play it, people come up and tell us how it makes them think about stepping back a bit and not worrying about the technology and the fast-paced craziness, and just enjoy the moment more."

Elaine strikes a similar chord in the touching "Living Scrapbook," which evokes comparisons to a young Dolly Parton. She said another country music family gave her the idea for the song. "I was watching OWN, and the Judds were on there," she recalls. "Naomi said to Wynonna 'Everything we are doing is our living scrapbook.' I thought that would be a great idea for a song...I wrote it down, and walked around my house looking at the frames of pictures in my house. We took those memories and morphed them into the song."

The title cut, which the duo co-wrote, also has a moral to the story, says Lee. "Everybody - it doesn't matter the career, no matter what you do, there are days that are harder than others. You have setbacks in your career, and those who fight through it and keep their heads up are the ones that are the most successful."

Still standing in the business allows The Roys to enjoy the benefits of a growing career. According to Elaine, the one-on-one interaction with those at their concerts is her favorite part of it all. "Meeting the fans is the greatest. You can record music all day long, and you can be excited about it, but if nobody wants to hear it, you're just singing to yourself. Seeing their reactions to the songs is very, very exciting."

Lee agrees with that sentiment, saying "That's the reward at the end of the day. It's that pat on your back from your peers and your fans when they come up to you and tell you stories about your songs and how they have affected them."