O.V. Wright: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — December 6, 2021

274) O.V. Wright — “ Everybody Knows (The River Song)”

“Overton Vertis Wright learned his trade on the gospel circuit with the Sunset Travelers before going secular in 1964.” (Bill Dahl, All Music Guide) (see #71). In his hands, the levee doesn’t have to break for the Mississippi River to exert a tragic and inexorable force. Bluesman Mark gets to the core of Wright:

[H]as a singer ever sounded so desolate, so lost, so obsessed with sadness as [O.V. Wright] always did? . . . [H]is songs were often largely tailored to his unique style of “eloquent desolation” . . . . [Wright] always sounded like a man on the edge in songs like . . . “Everybody Knows (The River Song)” . . . & he could wring pathos from every line he sung. And don’t take “eloquent” as meaning he sounded sophisticated. OV was as “country” sounding as any southern soul singer ever got. The eloquence comes from how he phrased the songs, how he found the potential of inherent sadness in any song. OV always sang like he was staring into a vast, cold void. . . . If you haven’t experienced OV Wright’s music, I suggest that you do so. Just make sure you’ve got some good whiskey handy.

http://forums.stevehoffman.tv/threads/the-eloquent-desolation-of-o-v-wright.857285/

“A man on the edge” indeed:

“Everybody knows catfish got no scales, everybody knows that cotton comes in bales. The Mississippi River, deep and muddy stream. I just sit on the bank and fish while I dream. . . . It keeps on raining, but I just can’t stay at home. . . . I am so miserable, I am so tired, oh just sit on the Mississippi River and watch the fish swim by. My life is so confused, but I don’t want to die. I want to go to heaven, but I’m scared to fly. All I can do is just say ‘Oh, oh, oh these blues’ . . . .”

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