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Monday, May 17, 2010

Whitney Duncan's 'Right Road Now' Album Surprises Our Senior Music Reviewer

Whitney Duncan’s "Right Road Now" Should Take Her Where She Needs to Go
by: Vicky Dobbin, Senior Music Reviewer

45th Annual Academy Of Country Music Awards - Arrivals
I must admit that I misjudged Whitney Duncan. After my first viewing of her video “Skinny Dippin’,” I assumed she was just another one of the pretty girls with minor singing ability that Nashville tries to sell through music videos. (Thanks, Shania, for giving them that idea.)

You can hardly blame me for my assumption. “Skinny Dippin'” did very little to highlight Whitney’s voice and instead relied on the cuteness factor to gain attention. It was hit a hit on music video channels but didn’t even break the top 40. I don’t think I ever heard it on the radio but it seemed to be on CMT and GAC every hour. So my first listen to her new CD, “Right Road Now,” was a pleasant surprise.

Whitney has a strong, soulful voice and she handles bluesy ballads and up tempo honky tonk tunes with equal skill and beauty. And I’m not talking about her looks. She has a beautiful voice that is a cut above many of the female singers getting airplay today. 

CD highlights include “Burn it Down,” a broken-heart ballad sung with the power of you’d expect from Martina McBride; the bluesy “Little By Little”; and the sassy, up tempo “The Bed That You Made” – my pick as the best song on the CD, it would make a great single (and yes, video).

Whitney has been in Nashville for six years working on the overnight success – and getting this-close several times (a duet with Kenny Rogers, finishing 5th on Nashville Star, opening the CMA Fest). She’s obviously put the time to good use. Many of the songs on the CD, all of which she co-wrote, display range and maturity.

The current single, the title track “Right Road Now,” isn’t as powerful as the songs just mentioned, and the video looks like something Carrie Underwood would have done a few years back – not bad, a bit clichĂ©d and not terribly memorable.

A few of the songs on CD do start to sound alike after a few listens but overall “Right Road Now” is a welcome addition to my CD collection. Whitney Duncan is an emerging talent and while that overnight success may take another CD or two to reach, I think she’ll get there.

Vicky Dobbin is senior music reviewer for Today’s Best Country Music Videos. Follow her at http://Twitter.com/LMyCountryMusic and read her country music blog at www.LoveMyCountryMusic.com.

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