O.V. Wright — “ Everybody Knows (The River Song)”: 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, https://www.allmusic.com/artist/ov-wright-mn0000457807/biography) (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.


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