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
- 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
- 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
"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.