The Roys

The Roys

 Hendersonville, Tennessee, USA
BandCountryBluegrass

The Roys, a chart-topping, multiple award-winning brother-sister duo, invigorate audiences with their live shows, original compositions and incomparable harmonies. Their current CD, LONESOME WHISTLE (Rural Rhythm), debuted at #7 on Billboard Bluegrass Album Chart, and has earned them legions of fans the world over since its release.

Biography

Bluegrass music is a unique art form that is as much about feel and instinct as it is technique. Blending proficiency and passion into a musically intoxicating package, The Roys make their debut with LONESOME WHISTLE (Rural Rhythm Records), a spirited set that showcases the siblings’ stellar vocals, taut musicianship and enviable songwriting skills.

“My first real love is bluegrass music,” says Lee. “When I was nine-years-old, I played in my first band and it was a bluegrass band. Ricky Skaggs has always been my hero, and even back in the early days of the Skaggs and Rice records; that’s really where I cut my teeth. As a matter of fact, we were listening to some old stuff we had done and it was amazing to hear Keith Whitley in my voice back then when I was a kid because I was really into those guys.”

With their reverence for legends such as Bill Monroe as well as contemporary torch bearers like Ricky Skaggs, The Roys have crafted a debut set that combines the best of bluegrass music’s traditions with the promise of its future. In recording the album, Lee and his sister Elaine, enlisted Skaggs’ famed band, Kentucky Thunder, plus Steve Brewster on Drums/Percussion and the amazing Randy Kohrs on Dobro. The disc was even recorded at Skaggs Place Studios. “Being with Ricky’s band was inspiring because those guys are awesome,” Elaine enthuses. “It really makes you want to do better because all of them are amazing musicians as well as amazing people. They love the music and they really put their hearts and souls into it. That’s why we really loved working with those guys.”

“They are literally the masters of their craft,” adds Lee. “Randy Kohrs is playing dobro and Justin Moses is playing the banjo. Those guys live and breathe their instrument. It’s like an extension of their body.”

Lee and Elaine are equally effusive in their praise when talking about bassist Mark Fain, guitarist Cody Kilby and fiddler Andy Leftwich, who co-produced the project with The Roys. Were they at all nervous stepping in to Skaggs’ studio to record their bluegrass debut? “Absolutely,” Elaine confesses. “The first day we walked in there and I started seeing all the pictures of Bill Monroe and Ricky Skaggs and seeing Ricky’s Grammys and all his awards everywhere, I was thinking ‘Oh my gosh! He is really the King of Bluegrass right now and we’re in his studio!’ It was very, very intimidating, but once we got in there and met with the guys and they were excited to be there, we put all that to bed. We thought, ‘We’re here to sing and make music. It’s in God’s hands. It’s not even in our hands, so we’re just going to let it happen.’ Once we let it go, the magic happened.”

Recording LONESOME WHISTLE was the culmination of a dream that began for The Roys during childhood. Elaine and Lee were born in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, and the family later relocated to a small town called Coal Branch in New Brunswick, Canada. Music was always present in their household. “Traditional country music and bluegrass is what we grew up on. That’s all we listened to,” says Elaine. “My grandma played the fiddle. She would play Acadian tunes and my aunts and uncles would sing and play multiple instruments as well. It was very traditional roots music. We fell in love with that and our harmonies seemed to fit that style of music. That’s really what we truly love.”

“At five or six-years-old, I became addicted to music and I just couldn’t get enough of the fiddle,” says Lee. “For me, the fiddle growing up was really THE instrument because it was what my grandma played.”

Elaine learned guitar and Lee picked up drums, bass and mandolin. By the time he was nine, he was performing publicly with a local bluegrass band, singing high tenor and playing mandolin. Elaine began singing at age five, and her first paid gig was at age 10. “I performed at a fair located a couple towns over from where we lived,” she recalls. “One of the people that we knew there knew that I sang

Discography

2011 - LONESOME WHISTLE - THE ROYS (Rural Rhythm Records)