From the summer of 2012 until mid 2014, my wife Joey and I had a television show that we starred in that aired on Friday nights all across the country. And it completely changed our lives.
We had become recording artists and our music career took us all over the country and halfway the world, traveling by plane or bus from show to show and radio station to radio station... but by spring 2011, Joey had had enough. At the ACM Awards in Las Vegas, before they announced the winner of the category we were nominated in, my pretty wife looked at me and asked, "are you ready?" I saw the sadness in her eyes and knew exactly what she meant. There in an auditorium filled with 10,000 people, sitting in the first few rows with our musical heroes on either side of us, she was asking if I was ready to go home... for good. She was ready to find another way to chase our dreams, or give them up. She didn't just want to sing about living on a farm, she wanted to live on one. To be home in our home on our land, tending to her garden, and being part of our community... even if it meant the end of our music career.
Although things had been going well and most of our wildest dreams had come true by then, she, and I, had found it unsatisfying. We wanted more. And we knew the only way to get it was to choose to do less. To be true to ourselves and come home and try to find our own unique path to share our music and story.
A year or so later that path came in the form ofweekly TV variety series called "The Joey+Rory Show" that we filmed here at our farm, at our family cafe down the road, and in the small community we live in. The rest is history so they say. Well, it's history now that a dozen years have come and gone since that night in Las Vegas.
Over the next two years, we made 52 episodes of a show that was completely homemade from start to finish. We, along with some talented neighbors and friends, made something that we were and all these years later, are all still so proud of.
We filmed the majority of the show in our big red barn that is now Homestead Hall. Originally built as a 40'x70' pole barn to keep our tools, lawn mower & tractor and me tinker around with old cars in... we pushed everything out of the way, built a small stage, hung curtains and lights and turned it into a magical place that transported us into millions of living rooms each week. In each episode we shared the music we loved, recipes from our family diner Marcy Jo's Mealhouse, comedy with our neighbor and friend Wynn Varble, other songwriters and artists we admired, and short video story segments called "Farm To Fame" about the things that were happening in our lives...from having a festival in our front yard, to having a baby at home, we captured and shared our lives week after week. In one of the early episodes. we even shared the story of 'how we made a tv show at home'.
The series ran on the cable network RFD-TV which was in 40 million homes or so at the time. Mostly for an audience in small towns and rural America, which was fine with us, because we live in a rural area outside of a small town in Tennessee. For a couple of years, it was on every Friday night at 8:30, and then in re-runs in other time slots and it was wildly successful for the network and for us.
To this day, the parking lot of our family restaurant Marcy Jo's is filled with out-of-state plates; people who travel from all over just to try the recipes they've seen on the show and experience a bit of the life we shared with the world week after week.
Up until now, there have only been short clips from segments of the show available to watch online, but I've been wanting to figure out how to share the full episodes for a while now. So for the past couple of months, we've been working on getting all 52 episodes up and available to watch, and earlier this week, we finally got the last ones uploaded and published HERE on our website.
If you haven't seen the show, I'd say start watching from the beginning... the first episode of the first season, and work your way from there. It pretty much documented our lives as they happened for two years. The last episode of Season 3 was called "Coming Soon" because in that episode we announced that we were going to be having a baby. And the very last episode of Season 4 which was our last show, was when we shared that we were stopping making the series so we could concentrate on taking care of our little girl Indiana. We had no idea at the time, all that was in store for us over the next few years. The many blessings and the heartaches.
But I'm thankful, so thankful, for this show and how it captured and forever frozen-in-time our lives and our family and community in a special way that is still so precious to see all these years later.
Our little Indiana, who's 7 years old now, has never seen most of these shows, so in the coming weeks, we'll be watching too. And she'll get to see her Mama again. Alive and full of life, love, and hope... forever.
PS: for folks who've been asking where they can purchase DVD's of the show, they're available in our webstore HERE.