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Sheffield man plays out a dream

Bobby MacVeety (Photo contributed)

Bobby MacVeety has checked a big dream off of his list of things he’s wanted to do in his lifetime. And locals have a chance to take a little piece of that dream home with them by buying his first solo album.
MacVeety, a resident of Sheffield, has been writing lyrics and poetry for decades. He began playing music in the 1970s.
Growing up, he attended church-affiliated boarding school, Saint Thomas Choir School in Manhattan, where he had extensive voice training. He also sang in the church choir and with Leonard Bernstein at Rockefeller Center. He attended The Hill School, a coeducational preparatory school in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, and played saxophone in the jazz band.
After attending Tufts University and being in the London production of “Hair”, MacVeety started to play guitar and sing in earnest, he recalls. At the same time, he also began to write lyrics, poetry and music. He played guitar and sang in the bands, Pure Cane, Larry Carsman Blues Band and Blues Current in Boston and Cambridge.
A move to the Berkshire County landed him in a band with Al Fellows and Gordy Fellows in a band called “Al and the Fascinations” at the Pearly Gates Saloon in Sheffield. His participation in that band was one of several he’d have throughout his musical career. The next band he joined was called “Swing Shift” alongside John Barrett, Andy Gordon, Geraldine Lawrence and Tim Grey, playing country and swing music in Connecticut and Massachusetts. Followed by “Lisa and the Weapons of Pleasure” — a band out of Taconic, Connecticut with Larry Stone.
MacVeety “The Blues Stars” was a popular band with an all-star cast including Rob Putnam, Steve Ide and Jeff Stevens that started out at the Stockbridge Station. He also was a member of the “Carl Landa/Jill Hughes Band” in Saratoga, New York.
His musical life also harmonized with his personal life as his wife, Susan MacVeety, also sang. He also purchased his son, Max MacVeety, his first drum set.
“Before he could walk or talk, he was obsessed with the drums,” Bobby said with a laugh. “I set up his drum set right beside my piano and he would drum along. He ended up taking lessons as a teenager.”
Years later, Max, a 1995 graduate of Mount Everett Regional School, would end up playing with his father in a band called, “One Straw Revolution”, alongside musicians John Suters, Jake Alarn and Charlie Tokarz.
After graduating from Berklee College of Music in 1999, Max moved to California to pursue his own musical dreams as a professional drummer. Currently, he’s touring as a drummer in Europe and performed most recently with Kelly Finnigan & the Atonements + Bernard Adamus at Maroquinerie in Paris, France.
And last year, he tapped into his music production skills and worked with his family members to create his father’s first solo album. Susan served as executive director for the album; and MacVeety’s daughter, Jessica Fabito, and his sister, Glynis MacVeety, helped finance the project. Max selected 10 songs from a hard drive of his father’s music and produced the album at his Long Beach, California-based recording studio Bunkhouse Recording. In addition to his father, Max performed alongside a number of musicians to create the album.
“It was really easy [to create] because not only had I heard him play, but I also played with him. After selecting all of the original songs, I had a clear vision,” said Max. “The album takes you on a ride from good ol’ dance music to political things to heartfelt love songs that will bring a tear to your eye.”
On Sept. 27, 2019, MacVeety’s family unveiled the project to him as a surprise gift for his 70th birthday. The album is called “Rising Sun” and has been released on CD, vinyl and has worldwide distribution through YouTube, Spotify, Pandora, Apple Music and Amazon Music.
The title of the album is also the name of one Bobby’s songs, which was written about his courtship with his wife, Susan.
“It’s about how we fell in love,” said Bobby. “Having an album of all of my songs is something I’ve always wanted. I never thought I’d get them into distribution. It’s the best present I’ve ever received.”
“I remember Dad singing [Rising Sun] it growing up,” said Max. “I loved that song and so many of his others — the world needed to hear it.”
The album, Bobby says, has “a lot of funk and a bluesy vibe.”
Nowadays, Bobby is still playing with three different bands: The BTUs, One Straw Revolution — which has migrated to have new life as a swing band performing at Dewey Hall in Sheffield — and The Bobby MacVeety Trio, which performs regularly at the Stagecoach Tavern in Sheffield.
The BTUs also performs regularly at The Egremont Barn as well as Firefly Gastropub & Catering Co. in Lenox. The BTUs will be performing next at The Barn on Friday, Feb. 28 at The Barn from 8 to 11 p.m. and on Saturday, March 7, from 8 to 11 p.m., at Firefly.
Those interested in picking up a copy of MacVeety’s CD for $10 or limited edition album for $25 should contact Max at mmacveety@gmail.com or bobbymacveety@gmail.com.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Enjoyed reading the article above, actually explains
    everything in detail, the article is very interesting and effective.
    Thank you and good luck in the upcoming articles.

    King regards,
    Balle Schneider

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