Volume 95, Issue 12

Thursday, September 20, 2001
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Nothing this Wright could possibly be Wrong

NY rockers whip up "tragipsych"

This John is not filled with crap

Disc of the Week

No Superheroes here

Nothing this Wright could possibly be Wrong

By Aaron St. John
Gazette Staff

Gazette File Photo

Recording songs originally performed by other artists is a musical tradition – the ultimate way to pay homage to one's influences.

Kingston-based group Luther Wright and The Wrongs have done things a little bit differently, and instead of recording just a single cover song, the bluegrass band has re-recorded Pink Floyd's seminal album The Wall in it's entirety.

Revealing how such a seemingly odd choice came about, The Wrongs frontman Luther Wright explains, "it seems like The Wall is the perfect country and western, bluegrass record. We found that out just by fooling around and playing along with the radio in the van one day.

"Pink Floyd came on and we started going like 'ding-daka-ding-ding-ding, [he hums the melody from "Another Brick In The Wall"] and we thought 'gee, that's a great country tune' and we realized there were a whole bunch more on the album.

"It was like a blinding flash of inspiration as we came to accept the reality that this was our destiny. Whoever was driving probably swerved off the road. It was the perfect thing for a band that doesn't really do covers, but we went on to do 26 of them," Wright explains.

The first half of the resulting record, titled Rebuild The Wall, was released earlier this year, while the second half will be issued, together with the first on a single CD, Sept. 25.

Wright says he's extremely pleased with his current project's widespread reception from the public and the press. Rebuild The Wall is their first major label release after two previous independent albums.

"For the most part, people have gotten it. They understand it's not some Weird Al Yankovic thing. It's great. You always wonder if people are going to get what you're saying with any kind of creative endeavor," Wright maintains. "It's kind of fun to see other people's interpretations of it."

A project of this nature has led to some much welcomed exposure for the band, a pleasing fact for Wright and his fellow Wrongs. "We sort of took this on as a challenge for ourselves and it turned into a really good booster for us to get more gigs and be able to do our stuff in front of more people," he says.

"We've got a pretty honkin' country and western, bluegrassy-punk thing going on now, with a lot of gigs under our belt. We had a great summer, playing lots of festivals and down in the [United] States."

Regarding the importance of American success for a Canadian group, Wright answers, "It's necessary to keep grown men fed, clothed and housed. There are a lot of great bands up here, but there's way more talent than people can support.

"We're doing well, getting a lot of shows we want to play. For us, it's all about playing live. Unless we were to miraculously start selling tonnes of records, we depend on playing live to keep us together as a band, as musicians," Wright says.

Despite the nature of the group's most recent recording, Wright says their live shows are not an attempt to recreate Pink Floyd's storied theatrical tours.

"We've actually got pretty humble pyrotechnics, but we kick it out pretty good. We tend to play a mix of The Wall and our own stuff. We really try and focus on what makes a show good in terms of pacing and dynamics. It's a pretty energetic, dancing kind of thing."

With a few scattered shows in the next few weeks, Wright says the band's fall and winter itinerary is full.

"We're heading out on a big fall tour all across Canada. We've started recording a new record, tentatively titled I've Got A Broken Fuckin' Heart and that's going great. We're gonna try and get that done in the winter, go down to Australia and do their summer festivals, then do some American gigs and hopefully have the new record out next fall."

Luther Wright and The Wrongs bring their architecture-based, bluegrass ball to The Spoke for a free show tonight.

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Copyright The Gazette 2001