Whitney Duncan first arrived on the country music scene with an appearance as the duet partner with Kenny Rogers on a song she co-wrote, “My World Is Over.” After the tour supporting Kenny, she went back to work in Nashville and eventually landed her current record deal with Warner Brothers Nashville on the strength of her songwriting and strong vocals. Working with producers Mark Bright and John Shanks Whitney has crafted an album that runs the gamut of the human emotions.
“When I Said I Would” is smart, sassy kiss-off song that I’m still befuddled as to why it didn’t become a top hit on country radio stations. The melody, the lyrics the performance and the production all pointed to it being a big hit yet it only eeked out a Top 50 performance. Right Road Now’s title track is a modern story song that finds Whitney singing about taking fate into her own hands and getting out of a bad relationship that was holding her from achieving her dreams. “Little By Little” has an alt-country/rock vibe while “Skinny Dippin’” has become Whitney Duncan’s signature hit, even if it didn’t get higher than the Top 40. It’s a fun, youthful summertime song that sounds as good now as it did back when it she first ever sang it (on Nashville Star) for a national audience. “The Bed That You Made” was another song that I felt radio would’ve gotten behind, particularly with the catchy production and melody that recalls the best of Shania Twain.
As good as Whitney Duncan is on the uptempo tracks, she’s really really good on the ballads placed throughout the album. “Burn It Down” is one such track with strong lyrics with a focused point of view while “Open Road” may just be the best track on the album as it describes a woman with a restless soul who knows that she has to leave her hometown behind in order to chase her dreams. It’s a heartfelt performance that rivals anything that Carrie Underwood has ever put out. “Away” closes out the album and it, too, is a highlight of this record as Whitney Duncan’s talent as a singer and writer comes shining through.
Fans were able to choose the final track for Right Road Now and they did a good job in choosing “Coming Home To You,” a sweet mid-tempo track with Keith Urban-like instrumental production backing up a snappy lyric about still being happily in love, despite the troubles a relationship may have. While it has been nearly two years in the making, Right Road Now has been worth the wait and it should help appease fans who have been clamoring for the final version of this album. Here’s hoping that one or two of these songs will find an audience that allows Whitney to record and release her breakthrough single sometime soon as her talent is too good to not be heard on country radio.