A little more than a year after the death of Joey+Rory’s Joey Feek from ovarian cancer, the singers debut solo album, If Not For You, is set for release on April 7.
Produced by husband Rory Feek, the 12-track album was recorded in 2005 and will included Joey’s original recording of the song “That’s Important to Me.” The tune was also a single for Joey + Rory in 2010 and featured on their sophomore album, Album Number Two.
“[The album is] filled with songs that spoke to her and, even more, spoke volumes about her. About what’s most important to her. The lyrics of this record made it clear who she was and who she wanted to be,” Rory said in the album’s booklet. “Yes, her voice might have changed a bit in time, but her character was already rock-solid.”
Included with the album will be a 48-page booklet of photos and stories from Joey, Rory and her family as they remember the beloved singer.
Rory lost his wife, Joey, in 2016 when she passed away from ovarian cancer at the age of 40, leaving behind a 2-year-old daughter, Indiana, who was born with Down syndrome. Rory, who has been raising the little girl, has kept the world informed of their progress and honored his wife today (March 9) in his blog, This Life I Live.
Below is an excerpt from Rory’s blog post, a year after Joey was buried. You can read the full post at Thislifeilive.com.
A year ago today we laid Joey to rest in the grove of trees behind our farmhouse. It was just a few days after she “took her last breath on this side of heaven and her first on the other”. And now, here we are… the “dust” has settled from the pastor’s ‘dust to dust’ message and a deep bed of grass has grown over that mound of freshly broken soil.
Indiana and I sat together on that spot as the sun fell from the sky this evening. Indy played with the flowers as I let my mind drift back to her Mama’s memorial service last year. And all that has happened since then.
Some things have changed since that day last March, and some haven’t changed at all. There is still only a wooden cross to mark that piece of hallowed ground – nothing permanent – like stone or marble. Maybe it’s waiting for me to join my wife, or maybe it’s just not time yet for those chiseled dates-seperated-by-a-dash. Or maybe, a hand-made wooden cross wrapped in twine is just more my wife’s style.
From where Indy and I sat together, I could see our farmhouse and the big red barn beside it. It’s been a year-and-a-half since Joey and I sat our guitars down and walked off the stage of our concert hall together. Five months later, I was back on that stage. But this time alone. There was an audience sitting in the chairs, and there was music, but it wasn’t ours. It was for Joey’s memorial service. The room was filled with friends and family, all lifting her up in song and in prayer.
Since then the barn has remained mostly silent. No music and no life, except for a few neighborhood get-togethers, a taping the Gaither folks did for Bradley Walker, Indy’s Signing Time show and some family dinners now and then.
Photo by Bryan Allen / Slanted Records