Bio

Bobby Sweet portraitabout music: a personal note

I learned when I was just a little kid that there was something special about music. When I came into the world, my dad was in band called The October Mountain Boys, followed shortly after by his own band called Sweet Country Wine. Some of my earliest memories are of being at those gigs with dad and the band. What I saw at those “round and square” dances was a whole bunch of people coming together and having a great time of it. Inevitably, I’d fall asleep somewhere off to the side of the stage with the sound of the band, the crowd, and dad’s voice fading off into the distance. I remember being carried out to the car along with all the amps, speakers, and instruments at the end of the night. My father sang his entire life… everywhere… all the time. He sang at home, he sang in the car, he sang at work, and of course, at a thousand gigs. He even wrote a few tunes and made a record of his own. He told me stories about when he was a kid and went to gigs where my great-grandfather “Pop Sweet” played his fiddle and called square dances. I started getting on stage with dad when I was seven, and have been carrying on ever since. There are so many things that I love about music, it’s hard to know where to start. I love anything that brings people together, and music sure does that. Through the years I have seen so many amazing things happen which I am not sure would have come to pass without music, my own rescue (countless times) not withstanding. I love how music steps right over boundaries with grace and dignity, be it political, cultural, or any of the other kinds of walls people put up for whatever reasons. When it comes to a song, we are all on equal ground… and that’s a nice place to meet. I love how a great song picks you up and takes you somewhere, then sets you gently back down as the last note fades away. I love to write songs, to sit down with a guitar with nobody else around, and go to that place where songs come from. Sometimes I return with a new song, sometimes not, but it’s always time well spent. I love all the amazing people that music has brought to my life, and all of the neat places it has carried me. I love how a band who sticks together becomes a family, and how after five hundred gigs, that family can still learn how to play it just a little bit better. There are so many things I don’t know, but this is one of the few things I do know: music brings me home… to that place where you find your peace, respite from the trials of being human, and the place where it all comes together and makes sense. I consider it a blessed life to know where home is, and never tire of the joy in arriving, yet once again.

formal bio

Bobby is a sixth-generation musician. He began performing at age 7 in his father’s band. As a performer, Bobby has shared the bill with many top country and folk artists, including Vince Gill, Bill Staines, Martin Sexton, Arlo Guthrie, Pete Seeger, and Jonathan Edwards. As a sought-after lead guitarist he has played shows opening for George Jones, Diamond Rio, Asleep at the Wheel, Willie Nelson, The Bellamy Brothers, Waylon Jennings, and many others. He has recently returned home from his fourth U.S. tour playing guitar with Arlo Guthrie on Guthrie’s 50th Anniversary of Alice’s Restaurant tour. His travels with Guthrie saw performances at Carnegie Hall, the New Orleans Jazz Fest, and Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion among many other landmark venues.

.In 2011, he was selected as a New Folk finalist at Kerrville, and his songs have also received honorable mentions from The New York Songwriter’s Circle Songwriting Contest, The UK Songwriting Contest, The Billboard Songwriting Contest, and The Mountain Stage NewSong Contest.

Bobby has written songs that have aired on the hit television series Nashville, Touched By An Angel, Walker Texas Ranger, Soul Food, Judging Amy, and Brotherhood, among others. Another of his songs was featured in the Danny Devito/Bette Midler movie Drowning Mona. His instrumental and vocal work have been featured on recordings by Arlo Guthrie, Sarah Lee Guthrie, and a host of other independent album projects. When not busy writing, recording and performing his own songs, he works as a freelance producer and recording engineer lending more than 20 years of studio experience to other artists of varying styles, ranging from folk to Americana to world music.

Bobby has spent time in the Andes of Patagonia, Argentina, a pristine wilderness far from telephones and electricity, accessible only by horseback. His experiences there inspired some of the songs written for the album Already Home. His travel experiences also encompass sharing music with the chief of a Dogon village in Mali, West Africa, and building houses in Nicaragua with Habitat for Humanity. Back home in the Berkshire Hills of Massachusetts, Bobby lives in a small-town community where the love and lives of those around him continually provide the wellspring for new songs.

Stylistically, Bobby’s music resides somewhere between John Prine, Jackson Browne, Guy Clark, and a countryfied Bruce Springsteen. An engaging storyteller, he is at home on the stage, whether performing solo, with his eclectic trio, or with the full band.

Discography:

1999 Hope’s Cafe
2001 Already Home
2003 Love on the Border
2005 Live at The Guthrie Center
2007 Days Roll By
2011 Cowboys and Poets

 

booking & information:
BSweet Music
bobbyswt@gmail.com
(413) 623-0187

 

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