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Jess Chizuk and Greg Zeis are a folk/Americana duo hailing from Buffalo, New York. Over the last eighteen months, they’ve been busy to say the least. Utilising a homemade RV, The Rightly So have been touring non-stop across America. Their latest release, Vandura, illustrates life on the road in all of its highs and lows. The album brings life to the memories and stories of adventure collected along the way.
With a delicate country-laden rhythm, a twangy guitar, and Greg’s charming vocals, ‘Black and Blue’ is the album opener. He presents a tale filled with the myriad complications of love in the context of his life as a wanderer. In the following verse, Jess takes over to deliver her version of events. Their call-and-response, interwoven tale is delivered magnificently.
Chunky rock guitars, heavy beats, lively melodies, and cutting lyrics take the floor on ‘You Can Bet on Me’, before segueing into organ-driven balladry with ‘Ball and Chain’. Jess shines on these tracks, providing an immaculate guitar solo for the latter and tying it all together emotionally.
An admirable aspect of Vandura is that the pair don’t just look at the highs and stories from the road—the monotonous is also catered for. ‘Nothing but the Weather’ explores the boredom and self-interrogation that comes with living a nomadic and often claustrophobic lifestyle.
In contrast, ‘Dying Day’ beautifies the simplicity of it all, taking on a nostalgic view of the endless roads and quaint pleasures that hold one over on these adventures. As per the title, however, ‘Not Coming Home’ makes it clear that The Rightly So believe it’s worth it overall. The duo don’t see themselves stepping away from the constant challenges and buzz of travel.
The album is a cathartic release based on the practicalities of their lifestyle. It does not over-romanticise as is often the case with this topic. Instead, the pair seek to deliver an even account of a path less travelled. Needless to say, it’s thematically strong from The Rightly So, and the musical accompaniment is stellar too.