Luther Wright & The Wrongs with the Guthries at the Horseshoe, September 29. Tickets: $8. Attendance: 200. Rating: NNNN
there were fears that luther Wright & the Wrongs' re-launch of their twangy tribute to Pink Floyd, Rebuild The Wall (Universal), might be upstaged by Sloan, who were rumoured to be making an appearance at Lee's Palace. As it turned out, the Sloan drain was greatly exaggerated, as folks turned up by the truckload to get down with the Kingston crew at the Horseshoe. The real threat came from the Guthries, whose rollicking opening set was enthusiastically received by the early-bird Luther Wright fans.
Though still solidly in the Burrito Brothers' pocket, the scruffy Guthries are finally sussing out a sound of their own, and having four singer/songwriter voices suggests enormous growth potential. It certainly made the notion of standing through two sets' worth of Luther Wright playing Roger Waters' country kin a lot less appealing.
But wisely enough, Luther and company decided against a sequential song-by-song recital of the entire 26-track album -- frightening just to consider -- and instead alternated their Floydian hoedowns with Wright's own fine compositions.
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. Well, at least until Wright's significant other, Sarah Harmer, turned up during the second set for a duet on Mother and a swinging take on Luther's Blues.
There's no doubt that the goofy novelty aspect of the Pink Floyd country-style concept helped fill the joint. Yet the bigger response to the group's original material makes you wonder whether the whole gimmick is worth the risk of being known as the hoser Floyd.
The dilemma they now face is that the more successful they are at selling their Rebuild The Wall album, the tougher it will be to shake that unfortunate tag.