Singer-guitarist Brian Wright is one of Nashville’s most wonderfully eccentric characters — his Twitter account alone is enough to warrant your attention. On May 8th, the solo artist will release his new album Lapse of Luxury with his group the Sneakups. Ahead of the LP, Wright premieres the track “Patrick’s Crossing,” a nostalgic slice of country-funk about killing time on the Brazo River near his Texas hometown.
Music and mind-altering chemicals played a key role in those days, as did The Man, represented back then by a local cop who hassled Wright and his buddies. He looks back on all of that in “Patrick’s Crossing,” which began as a straight-ahead country song that was ultimately unfulfilling for Wright.
“It just didn’t convey any of the fun that a lot of those memories held for me. So on the second try, I landed on the bridge part — ‘Mama won’t you help your children…’ — and it felt a little like a hillbilly version of Parliament Funkadelic,” he says. “That was way more fun than the other approach, so I took it in that direction.”
Wright, who also plays guitar in Aaron Lee Tasjan’s band, cut Lapse of Luxury (released via the indie label he runs with wife Sally Jaye Smithwick, Café Rooster Records) in a shed on his property with co-producer Gabe Masterson. Singer-guitarist Jon Latham, bassist Tommy Scifress, and drummer Matty Alger all contributed to the LP.
“‘Patrick’s Crossing’ is about looking back on the way I grew up and the friends I had as a kid that influenced me in any number of ways, and set me on the long strange path to where I am now,” Wright says. “love those people and I still keep in touch with lot of them.”
On Thursday, Wright and the Sneakups will preview the album with a show at Dee’s Country Cocktail Lounge in Madison, Tennessee, just east of Nashville. In light of the deadly tornado that struck Nashville early Tuesday morning, Wright is transforming the already scheduled concert into a benefit. “Shelter From the Storm: A Concert for Nashville Tornado Relief” will feature performances by Aaron Lee Tasjan, Erica Blinn, Chuck Mead, Will Hoge, Josh Rouse, the Pat Sansone Trio, Megan Palmer and Bob Lewis, and Audley Freed’s “Neil Night,” and others. The show begins at 8:00 p.m.
“My hope is to gather everyone in a celebration of community and music — because that’s what we do — and share ideas, stories, love and support, to raise money and awareness,” Wright says. “The magnitude of loss and damage becomes clearer every day, so I don’t have any expectation that this will be anything more than the beginning of a larger effort to help our community recover from the catastrophic damage it’s suffered.”