Rory Feek, whose new album “Gentle Man,” is out now, says recording music wasn’t easy after his wife, Joey, died of cervical cancer in 2016.
“It's been more than five years since Joey's and my last album, ‘Hymns’ came out, and honestly, I didn't think I would ever do any more recording,” he wrote on his blog last week. “I really didn't think I had anything to say through song, that Joey and I hadn't already said. I wasn't even sure that I even had a musical 'voice' of my own.
“I've also come to realize that maybe, just maybe, on that night twenty-plus years ago, when Joey was sitting in the audience at a songwriter's night I was playing at the Bluebird Cafe. When she heard or felt God say, ‘he is the one I've chosen for you...,’ he was saying something else too.”
Feek, 56, who, in addition to being married to Joey, collaborated with her as part of the popular country duo Joey + Rory, also said there was some sort of divine intervention in making Joey’s music heard by others.
“I have always been in-awe of the thought that somehow He knew in that moment, that one day I was going to be part of his plan for the world to discover the gift that Joey was,” he wrote.
“That I would play a part in getting her from that seat in the restaurant, to the spotlight that ultimately would shine on Joey and her sweet voice and story."
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Feek also pondered the possibility that Joey came into his life to get him to live up to his own potential.
“But now, all these years later, for the first time, I've come to realize that maybe, just maybe, what God was 'whispering' that night didn't stop there. That maybe he was also whispering something else to her," he wrote.
"Saying ‘and I'm going to need your help Joey, to get him from the barstool he's sitting on right now, to the place where I want him to be. He thinks he's just a songwriter... but I have many more plans for him. Stories that he will live through and tell, one day even on his own.”
Feek said the time has come to share his message with the world through music.
“It has never occurred to me until recently that I might too have something important to say with music. With my own voice on my own record. But thankfully, I see it now,” he wrote.
In addition to Rory, Joey left behind their daughter Indiana. While his new album is cause for celebration, Feek says he’s more focused on his little girl reaching the end of the school year.
“Needless to say, it's a big big day here at our house,” he wrote.
“First off the new record came out this morning, and we are all SO excited. Secondly, though, it's Indiana's last day of school. So Papa is gonna be heading over to spend the morning with the kiddos, where there's gonna be some celebrating going on in the playground. There will be swimsuits and sprinklers, cupcakes, and an ice cream truck (shhh... they don't know about that one yet). But mostly, we are all just going to be celebrating this amazing life that God has given us.
“Another beautiful day to be alive. To be with the ones we love. To celebrate all God has done and is doing in each of our lives. Blessings to you all today from the proud Papa of a little one who is gonna be a second-grader next year...”