Over the years many of my divas have teamed up with male singers to form talented pairings. Susanna Hoffs and Matthew Sweet, Jennifer Paige and Coury Palermo, BC Jean and Mark Ballas, and now Courtney Jaye with Zach Rogue formed their duo Rogue + Jaye. These are the only times that male musicians have made their way into my music collection. In my gay opinion, I prefer my divas solo but I take what I can get.
I’ve been a Courtney Jaye fan ever since her first album, Traveling Light, came out in 2005. I’ve wanted to see her live but haven’t had the opportunity until last month when Rogue + Jaye were performing at the Rockwood Music Hall in New York City. This was my first time seeing a pair of performers yet to release an album playing music that was completely new to me. The venue was small with just a few tables, some bar stools, and room to stand around. Luckily we were able to score two chairs at a table right up front. The show was very intimate with just the two of them on guitars performing songs off their up-coming album, Pent Up. Courtney has a unique sound to her voice that I believed was engineered and enhanced in the studio. I was blown away to hear her sound was natural and just as magical live. Zach’s voice was a perfect match and they’re both extremely talented musicians.
I downloaded Pent Up the day it came out. It has a very classic sound and a flash back feel with country flair. “Over And Over” and “Golden Lady” start out the album with music that you’d of expected to hear at the Grand Ole Opry before Minnie Pearl got inducted. “Open Your Mind” & “Heartbeat Wildly” would have played in a retro lounge as The Rat Pack sat around and Sammy Davis Jr. gave Frank Sinatra the eye. There’s an old-school honky-tonk feel to “Little Relief” and “Forces Of Decay”. While on that special Nashville episode of The Love Boat, Gopher confesses his crush on Isaac and they end up making out to “Don’t Say” or “Til It Fades” on the Lido Deck. The instrumentation on Pent Up is simplistic but the lyrics and vocals add depth. The harmonizing of Rogue + Jaye is the main focus, as it should be.
Pent Up sounds exactly how Rogue + Jaye sound live. I hope they tour more to support the album because I would love to see them again now that I’m more familiar with the music. If I can’t get Courtney Jaye on her own then I’m going to keep my fingers crossed that this album does well enough for them to release more collaborations.