By Jeremy Essig
By Jason Robinson
By Hans Morgenstern
By Joseph Hess
By Peter Gilstrap
By Julia Burch
By Jeremy Essig
By Nathan Smith
The tiny New York recording company of Variety Sound had no idea what they had in Telling the Truth. On the back of the album, the label printed a warning: "TEENAGERS, this album may be too lyrically heavy for you, especially if you're into fast music. YOU WILL, however, enjoy this record if you're into GUITARS!" Indeed, the lyrics are heavy, and the guitars are sparkling. The sound as a whole, however, is unprecedented.
Wright endeavors to explain: "My thing is, if it's not going to be something different, I don't want to use it. The only way I can get something different is through a natural sound. Then I know I have something original. Everything else has been done. That's what makes Telling the Truth stand out. I can't even do half the parts. If you ask me to sing one of those songs now, I'd have to go study it. You know what I'm saying?"
Thirty-four years after the release of Telling the Truth, Wright is considering a return to the studio with some friends from Vermont. That's his hope, at any rate, despite having been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 2008. He wants to make one final album. At the age of 71, he knows how time and the disease work; he can feel it in slurred speech and halting guitar strums. "It's not a joke," he says.
"I can feel I'm losing it slowly, but I'm trying to hang on," he says. "That's why we're planning this session. That will be the last session I do. I'm not complaining. I'm just trying to speak the truth."