Published Jan 13, 2016Perhaps best known for his alt-country take on Pink Floyd's The Wall (2001's epic Rebuild The Wall), Luther Wright and his band, the Wrongs, are back with the latest in a lengthy catalogue of mostly original material. Produced by long-time collaborator Hugh Christopher Brown and featuring Wright's Weeping Tile band mate Sarah Harmer on backup vocals (along with appearances by the Holmes Brothers, bassist Tony Scherr and Anton Fier on drums), Wright's songwriting on Hearts and Lonely Hunters is goofy enough that it's easy (at least initially) to lose sight of the musical sophistication that makes the record so easy to listen to.
From the little guitar outro at the end of opener "Black Mark" to the exuberance of the poppy "Come Over & Jam," from the melodic mid-tempo roots rock and beautiful strings of "Heart's For Breaking" to the effervescent country rock of "Lucifer," the deft use of guitar, pedal steel, organs and keys throughout Hearts and Lonely Hunters makes it a nicely textured, happy mess of an album about life, love, being broke and making music anyway that would be cozy in rotation with NQ Arbuckle and Carolyn Mark.
I could live without another quirky Casio song about Elvis ("Elvis") but Wright oft surprises with heartfelt strummers, too, as illustrated when he reaches the quietly emotional apex of "Broken Yesterdays" — just wait for it. (Snakeye)