For their third release, Luther Wright and the Wrongs attempt a track-by-track re-imagining of one of the most recognizable prog rock artifacts of the late 20th century -- Pink Floyd's The Wall -- as a country/bluegrass album. This peculiar set of circumstances will be enough to make most Pink Floyd purists protest the audacity of this little band from Kingston, Ontario. While Rebuild the Wall, Pt 1 has some of the markings of a marketing scheme cooked up in a boardroom somewhere, music fans with more open (and less cynical) minds may well find that this prog-bluegrass fusion works better than it should. After all, the themes of madness, violence, hard living, and heartache are not exactly new to the country arena. As is the case with most cover versions, the songs that work best here are those that end up sounding the least like the Pink Floyd originals. "One of My Turns" sounds like it could be a long-lost country gem, while "Young Lust" becomes a Gram Parsons style rocker. The high point of the disc occurs with "Goodbye Blue Sky," which Luther Wright and the Wrongs turn into a nearly unrecognizable bluegrass rave-up, complete with banjo and pedal steel guitar. The experiment is less successful with "Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2," where the familiar lyrics and choir-sung chorus tread a little too close to the original version. The band also enlists the help of such Canadian notables as Sarah Harmer (performing a duet with Wright on "Mother") and Carolyn Mark in a spoken word appearance as the telephone operator. In all, Rebuild the Wall, Pt 1 is an intriguing experiment that, despite its high-concept feel, manages to produce entertaining results.
Rebuild the Wall Review
by Robert Kaups