Monday, December 5, 2011

RIP - John Lincoln Wright

The music community has suffered a great loss with the passing of New England Country Music Legend John Lincoln Wright on Saturday Night.

Lincoln, as he was known to fans and friends alike, had been professionally involved in music for his entire adult life. In the 1960s was leader of the Beacon Street Union which recorded two major label albums. They were signed as a part of the record company's "Boss-Town Sound" hype when they were trying to promote Boston as the next great "Underground" music city, to rival San Fransisco. These albums remain the most listenable of that era in New England music history.

Though the Beacon Street Union was a typical rock band of the era, Lincoln's heart was always filled with Country Music. He founded the Sour Mash Boys, a group that entertained audiences for decades with Country Music classics and his own wonderful original creations. A skillful band leader, the group became a training ground for younger musicians and there are few Country Music performers working today who do not trace their histories to Lincoln's band, or at least claim him as a major influence. Always a keen judge of talent his nurtured many artist, such as Darrell Scott, who have gone on to national acclaim.

He was always generous with his talents and if a benefit was being planed, Lincoln was always among the first to volunteer. Over the years, his songwriting practically defined what New England based Country Music should, or could be. All of his recordings are filled with songs that speak eloquently of his love for the region.

We will miss his talents, of course, but we will also miss in kindness and grace, his warmth and gentle presence. A true New England legend, John Lincoln Wright, gone from us on December 3, 2011

- Dave Palmater

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