Luther Wright & The Wrongs

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A good deal of excitement was created in 2001 when Kingston’s fab, alt-country punkgrass ensemble, Luther Wright and the Wrongs made a splash with their Pink Floyd tribute REBUILD THE WALL. Playing almost 300 gigs since the original release of the album (including 150 in the past year in the U.S.), the band has converted a growing legion of fans and spent plenty of time shining up the chrome on the tracks that would become their new album of original music - GUITAR PICKIN’ MARTYRS: the next chapter in the gospel according to Luther Wright.

"This inspired Canadian twang band filled a niche few of us knew needed filling: They recast THE WALL as a hillbilly song cycle. Sound ridiculous? They’re dead serious, and darn good at it!"
- San Francisco Chronicle Aug 9, 2002

It’s been five good years now that Luther and the Wrongs have been playing and recording their own songs; that old style country music that runs the gamut from heartbreakers to full-out foot stompers. Primarily made up of members from poprockers, Weeping Tile (Atlantic), the Wrongs started out busking on the streets of Kingston, Ontario. They had already started making a name for themselves touring throughout Canada in support of their two original albums (HURTIN’ FOR CERTAIN and ROGERS WALTZ), before they introduced their country bluegrass special treatment of the Pink Floyd epic, THE WALL.

"Luther Wright and the Wrongs pull off the improbable. Where the original floated on some distant, emotionally wrought plain, the Wrongs rump and whump, making you want to grab your girl and two-step. Far from sounding nostalgic, the music feels urgent."
- New York Times June 30, 2002

Fanning the fires of woe alongside Luther on the new album are longtime Wrongs Sean Kelly (bass, vocals), Dan Curtis (guitar, vocals), Burke Carroll (steel guitar), and newcomers Megan Palmer (fiddle) and Mauro Sepe (drums). "Mauro and I played in the Mugworts together back in the ’90s when the Kingston music scene was enjoying a bit of an explosion. It was Mauro who pointed out to me that I was writing country songs and hacking them to bits with electric guitars (oh the glory!). Now he’s back to pay the price."

"Although most people whooped whenever they recognized a familiar number from THE WALL, it was Wright’s songs like Broken Fuckin’ Heart that drew the loudest cheers."
- NOW (Toronto) Oct. 4, 2002

GUITAR PICKIN’ MARTYRS was also brought to life by the appearances of many part-time Wrongs, including: Sarah Harmer (check out the duet, The Land of Milk & Honey), Spencer Evans (former player in Cowboy Junkies), Oh Susanna (singer/songwriter, murder balladeer), Jason Mercer (bass player with Ani Difranco, Ron Sexsmith), Chris Quinn (banjo master of Juno Award nominees Heartbreak Hill), and Chris Brown (of Chris Brown & Kate Fenner, formerly of Barenaked Ladies).

"Wright has a free-flowing writing style of his own, taking everyday situations and putting a satirical spin on them. By and large, Wright and the Wrongs are about as rock solid as a band on the underground country scene can get."
- Illinois Entertainer (Chicago) Aug. 23, 2002

Luther states, "The gist of making recordings of our music flows and grows from one project to the next. After REBUILD THE WALL’s story of isolation and disassociation, all the roads of our new material led us back to songs about hurtin’ and heartbreak. It all took shape while out on tour this last year and we knew we were on target when, after certain shows, folks would come up and say, ‘hey! have you been reading my mail?’"

"Luther Wright and the Wrongs are far from being just another band on the road. They are blazing new trails!"
- Two Rivers Times (Asbury Park) July 12, 2002

A storyteller at heart, Luther took a good hard look at the trials and tribulations around him in getting the songs lined up for GUITAR PICKIN’ MARTYRS. But, as Luther mentions, "It was Broken Fuckin’ Heart that started the whole thing off."

An all-too-familiar story, the tune provided the tie that binds for the album’s 12 other songs (including Bill Monroe’s classic, It’s Mighty Dark To Traveland Not Feeling Finepenned by Luther’s brother). Broken Fuckin’ Heart —those three little words stick like glue to the hurt in you. But call it what you will, the story here is as old as the hills. Heartache is fluent in every language, but country music just may say it best.