Sunday, 19 July, 2009 11:51 AM
CMA New Artist Spotlight: Whitney
by Jeff Lipsky
Bros. Nashville recording artist Whitney Duncan
2009 CMA Close Up News Service
When Whitney Duncan left
her hometown of Scotts Hill, Tenn., she took little with her other
than a soulful voice, equal parts rawhide and honey, and a determination
to seek her musical fortune. It took her a while to find it in the
form of Mark Bright, who was so impressed with her that he shared
the news with his friend John Shanks. Just like that, the two Music
Row veterans were onboard to advise, write with and produce their
Duncan was just 18 at
the time, though she had begun chasing her dream years before. After
singing at her kindergarten graduation, she never looked back and
began performing in church, at festivals, parties and barbecues,
and participating in a talent contest at Loretta Lynn's Ranch, where
she took third place in an all-ages competition.
Her first trip to Nashville
came in her early teens. Over the next few years she was a regular
in town, collaborating with Chris Tompkins ("Before He Cheats")
and other top writers and even recording and touring with Kenny
The big break came, though,
when she teamed with Bright and Shanks on her Warner Bros. debut
album, Right Road Now. On all 11 tracks, each one co-authored by
Duncan, she displays rock-solid writing technique and a confidence
that practically leaps from the disc. From the declamatory rhythm
of the vocal-and-drum passages on "The Bed That You Made"
to the steady groove and masterfully crafted hook that drive the
first single, "When I Said I Would," written by Duncan,
Shanks and Gordie Sampson, Duncan demands and deserves attention
as a fully-formed artist.
IN HER OWN WORDS
BOOK ON YOUR NIGHTSTAND
DREAM DUET PARTNER
"John Mellencamp or Bruce Springsteen."
"Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Tanya Tucker, Shania Twain, John Mellencamp
and Bonnie Raitt."
"People being rude at the airport and bad drivers."
SONG YOU WISH YOU'D
"'The Story' by Brandi Carlile."
SONG YOU'D LOVE TO
"'Authority Song' by John Mellencamp."
WHAT YOU'D BE IF
YOU WEREN'T AN ARTIST
WHAT ACTOR WOULD
PORTRAY YOU IN A BIOPIC ABOUT YOUR LIVE
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