The CurrenT Interview and Performance

The Current host Bill Deville (center) with Luther (left) and Jody (right).

The Current host Bill Deville (center) with Luther (left) and Jody (right).

Things are going right for Those Pretty WrongS

February 27, 2017

by Bill DeVille 

Jody Stephens and Luther Russell almost didn't make it to Minneapolis. "We had flight delays," Stephens says. "[But after] a few phone calls, we just lucked into going to another airport and getting here just on time."

It's a small example of the kind of luck Stephens and Russell — known as Those Pretty Wrongs — have enjoyed over the course of their shared history. On tour in support of their self-titled album, Those Pretty Wrongs stopped at The Current to chat with Bill DeVille ahead of their Saturday, Feb. 25, show at the 7th Street Entry in Minneapolis.

Stephens may be best known for his time as the drummer in the legendary act Big Star, and Russell was part of the early-90s indie-rock band the Freewheelers. Russell even said he had the chance to play at Prince's former club in Minneapolis, Glam Slam, when the Freewheelers were on tour opening for Joan Jett.

Russell and Stephens first crossed paths in the early 1990s when Stephens was making his A&R rounds as part of his work at Ardent Music in Memphis, where he has now worked for 30 years. Stephens and Russell kept in touch, and a collaboration during a Big Star's Third show in Los Angeles led the two men to decide to collaborate on a new project together. "It was just awesome," Stephens says. "Luther has a lot of talent."

The two challenged themselves to write three or four songs together, but ended up writing 12. Ten of those songs appear on the duo's self-titled album, which came out on May 13, 2016. But it was playing at the Nashville venue The Basement during the 2016 Americana Fest that opened a lot of doors for Those Pretty Wrongs. "You were there," Stephens tells Bill DeVille, "which was awesome for us, and now we're here. A guy named B.T. from Australia, a promoter, was there, and we wound up playing five dates in Australia from that. Two of which we were opening for Tweedy."

For Stephens, playing in Those Pretty Wrongs is enjoyable in many ways, not least of which is getting to sing lead on songs, something he didn't do a whole lot of as a drummer. "It's perfectly comfortable," Stephens says. "I found it's a lot easier for me to talk to folks that are closer, so if I'm out front, communication is a lot easier."

Listen to the full interview and a live performance here.

Eponymous Review

© Addison Hare

© Addison Hare

Those Pretty Wrongs are kicking off mini-Midwest tour at Chicago’s GMan Tavern

February 22, 2017
By Laurie Fanelli

On Feb. 24, Those Pretty Wrongs are set to begin their mini midwest winter tour with a special show at GMan Tavern in Chicago. The duo – comprised of legendary Big Star musician, Jody Stephens, and The Freewheelers frontman, Luther Russell – are set to heat up the Windy City on the first stop of their How Cold Is It Gonna Be? Midwest Tour.

Those Pretty Wrongs’ self-titled debut – which dropped in 2016 – features a collection of tracks co-written by Russell and Stephens, who stepped out from behind the drum kit to deliver the lead vocals. “For me, the lyrics are a walk through my day-to-day emotions and experiences,” said Stephens in a statement. His effortless way of expressing all of the emotion that goes along with life, love and humanity invites listeners to forget about their troubles and get lost in the beauty of song for awhile.

“This record and subsequent live performances are extremely personal for both of us,” added Russell. Following the highly-anticipated Chicago show, Those Pretty Wrongs will be heading-up to Minneapolis to perform a set at 7th St. Entry on Feb. 25.

The intimate setting of GMan Tavern is the ideal location to truly take in the personal storytelling, songwriting and consummate musicianship of Those Pretty Wrongs. Click here to pick-up tickets to the Feb. 24 show and follow them on Twitter to stay up-to-date with the latest news and tour information.

Third Coast Review

Big Star & The Freewheelers: See a Bit of Both at the GMan on 2/24

FEBRUARY 20, 2017

What’s better than Big Star and the Freewheelers? A little bit of both, of course. On Friday, February 24, the GMan Tavern will welcome two legendary artists, joining forces under the name of the Those Pretty Wrongs. Jody Stephens of Big Star, and Luther Russell of the Freewheelers have become music writing partners while promoting the documentary Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me, and are now set to embark on a winter tour, aptly named How Cold is it Gonna Be?, throughout the midwest.

Their start was small. Stephens and Russell originally released two songs; these received so much acclaim that they continued on their music-writing journey. With enough songs to fill an album, the duo decided to move forward and craft an innovative record. Recorded on 2″ tape in Memphis, the record is infused with wistful nostalgia; it was recorded using a lot of vintage Big Star equipment, including guitars from #1 Record.

This album also features Stephens’ vocals as lead, for the first time. Ever. Stephens and Russell wrote all of the songs, each stemming from deeply personal experiences from both the past and present. Check out the unique sound of this legendary pair for yourself this Friday evening at the GMan Tavern, located at 3740 N. Clark Street. This 21+ show begins at 8pm, with doors opening at 7pm. Tickets cost $15.