06 September 2019 (released)
19 September 2019
Life on the road is tough. Long hauls over late hours. Cramped quarters living off of the bare essentials. It takes a level of commitment and sacrifice but the rewards that come from that dedication are unlike anything else. A romanticized sheen coats your day to day and even the smallest victories feel like triumphs. For Jess Chizuk and Greg Zeis of The Rightly So, this way of life is at the core of their latest release Vandura. The 11-track LP details the people and scenery encountered in their travels performing across the country and their ever-developing relationship. The duo sings a heartfelt brand of indie-tinged Americana primed for road trip listening.
The opener 'Black and Blue' opens with that time-honoured chord progression Am-E-F#m-D that catapulted Old Crow Medicine Show to stardom and produced one of the most nostalgic tunes in rock in 'Tuesday's Gone' by Lynyrd Skynard. A good cross-section of country-folk tinged rock projects put their own spin on the classic refrain. The Rightly So turn in an ode to love based around that anchoring acoustic guitar, a half time tambourine and a welcoming fiddle to tie it all together. Zeis and Chizuk trade off verses waxing poetic about the hard times and getting through them together.
'Honest Kind of Peace' continues this love letter to life together on the road as Chizuk pens the song from her perch in the trusty Vandura. “I am writing to you from the front seat, passenger side/The old Vandura's running pretty smooth the last few nights” she coos, enamoured with the view of her co-pilot on the open road. Piano and fingerpicked guitar score this lover's 'On the Road Again'.
A little edginess starts to creep in on 'Ball and Chain'. A casual '90s shuffle backed by a rock gospel organ. A guitar lead starts to open up the road into uncharted territory. Chizuk's voice takes on a little rasp and depth. 'Devil's Work' really brings out the southern rock chops with a Black Crowes-tinged slow-stomper. Acting as a final mission statement, the closer 'Not Coming Home' states unequivocally that the road is their home now.
Vandura is warm, impassioned tribute to a life lived traveling and searching. There's a wholesome sweetness to their homeland rock that is endearing but can start to be a little heavy-handed by the end. These two must have really found the answer on the road.