In September 2016, just six months after losing his wife, Feek told People: "I don't have any plans to play or sing." He said that he had "pretty much retired" from music. In an interview with the Tennessean in February 2017, Feek revealed that he still hadn't touched a guitar since his wife's death nearly a year earlier.
Because of this, it was pretty surprising when he announced at a press conference in June 2017 that he would perform without his musical partner and soulmate that coming September. His motivation? To raise money for the Music Health Alliance, a non-profit that helped him with medical bills while Joey received treatment, as well as after her death.
In October 2017, he wrote a blog post on This Life I Live explaining that he did it in order to "be a part of helping others the way they've helped our family." Feek also described how difficult it was to perform alone: "I was nervous about stepping back onstage … without Joey by my side. Afraid that it would feel wrong to keep singing and sharing without her, and even more afraid that it might feel right. In the end though, it was both."
Along with a desire to help charitable causes, Feek admitted that his other motivation to perform was more personal. "I selfishly want our songs to go on together forever." He writes. "Our lives and love story to never end."