Steve Hochman on Luther Wright & the Wrongs’ redo of Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” as a country album:
- A wall made from hay bricks? When Luther Wright & the Wrongs used that prop in a few shows last year in Canada, it was a wink at the massive structure (non-hay) Pink Floyd built on stage in 1980 when performing its album “The Wall.”
But more immediately, the barnyard stunt celebrated Wright & the Wrongs’ new version of that classic progressive-rock concept album, in which they recast all 26 songs in country and bluegrass settings.
“We did some shows in Canada with 40 bales of straw and various farm implements and some film clips,” says Wright, who brings his band (but no hay) to Molly Malone’s on Saturday. “We needed a separate vehicle to bring the straw, and the bars hated us. We made a real mess.” The band, though, did not make a mess of the music. The album, “Rebuild the Wall,” reveals that inside the Floyd album was a bunch of country songs waiting to get out, from the musical structures to the themes of inner pain and defiant individualism. It was a revelation that came to Wright, 38, while he and the band were on tour in Canada in early 2000. He was playing guitar along to the radio in the van when the song “Another Brick in the Wall” came on.
“I kept playing–dinga-ding-ding-dinga-ding,” Wright says, imitating the sound of guitar picking. “I realized that when you think about it, ‘The Wall’ has got the country elements.
I know it’s sacrilege, but I never did like The Wall, and see it as the first Roger Waters solo album. It is virtually tuneless, self-pitying, uninteresting and is a world apart from the subtle atmospherics of the band’s best work. Maybe it’s be better in the country idiom, although I think polka may be more appropriate.