BLUEGRASS-TINGED TRIBUTE IS ODD, BUT WRIGHT
Of the Post-Dispatch
Luther Wright & The
Rebuild the Wall
Back Porch Records
OK. Depending on your point of view, these guys are geniuses, or the whole trend of "pickin' on" CDs has gotten out of hand. These CDs feature bluegrass bands covering the work of better-known artists in other grenres - usually rock. For example, AC/DC has been a target. (And what's not to love about Hayseed Dixie's "Highway to Hell?")
So, Pink Floyd fans, sit down again - or make room on your music rack next to the "Pickin' on Floyd" CD. Luther and the boys have done "The Wall" as a hillbilly opera. Not just "Another Brick" or "Comfortably Numb." The whole sheebang. Every song.As Luther said recently during a show at Off Broadway: Who knew Pink Floyd wrote country songs? Luther also said somebody suggested that the guys mix in some covers with their hard country originals - so they decided to cover an entire album. And dad gum if it don't work. All of the dysfunction and weirdness that Roger Waters wrote for Floyd also works with fiddle, banjo and guitar.
Right from the get go, in "Thin Ice": "Momma loves her baby,/ and daddy loves you too./ And the sea may look warm to you babe/ And the sky may look blue/ But ooooh babe/ Ooooh baby blue/ Oooooh babe."
Not particularly British.
Or "Young Lust": "I am just a new boy,/ A stranger in this town./ Where are all the good times?/ Who's gonna show this stranger around?"
None of this would work if these guys couldn't play. (And they even substitute rural sound effects for the urban ones in the original). They are serious about hard country, even if they do give it a nudge and a wink; and it shows in the work of singer Wright, drummer Cam Giroux, bassist Sean Kelly, guitarist Dan Curtis and pedal steel player Olesh Maximew.
Oh, and they're from Kingston, Ontario. Maybe that explains it.
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