CHESTERVILLE – Country singer Barry Wood will perform at the Chesterville Center Union Meeting House on Friday, September 7, at 7:30 p.m. His scheduled June concert at the location was postponed due to a traffic accident.
Wood’s musical story is a long one, and it’s hard to say exactly how it got started. It might have been his mother’s beautiful singing voice which could be heard round the house growing up in Mexico, Maine. Or it might have been the afternoon matinees at the Strand and the Acadia theatres in Rumford where he heard the music of Gene Autry and Roy Rogers.
But whatever got him going, he soon taught himself how to play guitar on a cheap six string donated to him by his aunt. In high school Barry’s musical career was underway playing with Howard Waite’s band, The String Serenaders, which had a regular Sunday radio spot with WRUM in Rumford. He continued to play music even while serving as a communications specialist in the United States Air Force.
“My roots are Country,” Barry says, “but back in the sixties people were listening to The Beatles and Chuck Berry.”
And so after moving to Dixfield following his time in the service, Barry joined the rock and roll world in 1963 with his own band, The Impacts. Later on, beginning in 1972, he would contribute his guitar talent and rich singing voice to the Maine country music scene, playing for over 25 years with the local group The Countrymen.
In 1998 and with a 40 year career at the Oxford Paper Company behind him, Barry took a few years to play with his friend Jack Libby before reconfiguring himself as a solo act. Now some 20 years later, and with his classic Gibson thin hollow-body Country Gentleman electric, Barry Wood is still going strong and is an award winning performer at venues across New England and beyond.
But whether he’s on the big stage at the North American Country Music Associations International festival in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, or in the community room at the Maine Veteran’s Home in South Paris, Maine, Barry Wood is the same Barry Wood. “Music’s been good to me,” he says. “I don’t know what I’d do without it.”
His fans feel the same way about him.
The Chesterville Center Union Meeting House is a non-profit event venue located at the corner of the Borough Rd and the Zion’s Hill Road in Chesterville. Admission to the concert is by donation. Refreshments will be served. For more information: chestervillemeetinghouse.org or contact 897-5572.