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I am not a huge country fan, not since the 90s anyway. If a country song came out since the beginning of the 2000s I probably don’t like it, unless it’s Garth Brooks. I’m a fickle country fan. I like the good old days when country music was more of a folk thing and wasn’t about blending genres. The Rightly So has made a new country album that brings some of that folk appeal back into the music without sounding vintage. Although I did hear a little Pam Tillis from time to time in the vocals of Jess Chizuk, this is current country music that blows the rest out of the water.
Chizuk is only one of the voices of this magnificent duo (she plays guitar as well), with Gregory Zeis singing and strumming guitar too. Their talents, combined, span a couple decades, both getting into music in their early teens. You can hear their talent in each song and it’s no surprise that Chizuk “has been the recipient of several songwriting awards, notably including winning the 2014 Buffalo Music Hall of Fame Songwriting Competition, winner of the Folk category at the Smoky Mountain Songwriting Festival Songwriting Contest, a semi-finalist in the 2015 Songwriter's Serenade Contest in Moravia TX, and a top five finalist in the singer/songwriter category of the Great American Song Contest.” Zeis is no slouch either; he “has performed with very prominent Upstate NY Bands including Zeis & the Muckrakers, who won the 2014 Best New Band Award Award from the All WNY Music Awards,” according to their bio.
Their music is listed as being similar to Brandi Carlile and The Lumineers. I’ve never listened to either of these musicians/bands, so all I can tell you is what I think.
Give it a listen.
“Blackberry Brandy” is the first song on the new self-titled album from The Rightly So, and it is this song that, for some reason, made me think of Pam Tillis. The duo takes turns when it comes to the vocals on this song. Chizuk’s beautiful country voice shares just the smallest amount of twang and is absolutely beautiful to listen to. This is by far my favorite song on this album.
PS. — These two are from Buffalo, New York, not down south.
“Crash This Car” is a great tune with thoughtful lyrics about life. Zeis does the lead vocals on this one at the beginning, filled in over a third of the way through the song by Chizuk’s airy vocals. Of course, after my boyfriend did crash his car this weekend (he was rear-ended and his car and guitar were totaled), I am not sure why anyone would want to crash a car.
“Brush Fire” has some guitar work I especially liked. I enjoy songs when the guitar is prominent, almost equal to the vocals. This song sounds much like something you could expect to hear on the radio. It’s not as catchy as “Blackberry Brandy” but it’s pretty close.
It wouldn’t be country music without a few mentions of alcoholic beverages. The first song was about brandy, and another libation related song on this album is “Wine And Shine.” In this song, the duo compares a woman to many types of alcohol.
There are eight songs on this album, but I don’t want to share details about every single one of them. I want you to be motivated for yourself to listen to this magnificent duo. Their vocals are impressive and you’ll enjoy the sweetness of Chizuk’s voice. This is pure country music with a singer/songwriter vibe. If you like country, folk, or even Americana, you’ll find enjoyment in this debut album from The Rightly So.