MAGYAROSI Strumming, Singing, Songwriting BY RISA WILLIAMS MCMILLAN PHOTOS BY ROB KAUFMAN
It is staggering to consider the depth of musical talent that we are blessed with on this Island and we have another new musician to add to our list of ‘got-to-go-hear’ entertainers named Bobby Lee Magyarosi (Hungarian of descent, he says that is where he got the gypsy traveler in his blood). Bobby is a singer and songwriter who strums and picks and jams his way into his listeners’ hearts and souls. Bobby Lee has a style that is gritty and soulful as he plays classic rock, blues, and ‘90’s alternative music, but do not be surprised if he throws in a bit of Old Country. After speaking with him, I realized he is all about one thing -- that is to put everything he has into his music, and the joy he hears back from his audience is his reward. Bobby Lee grew up in the burbs of Detroit and after receiving his first guitar at age 9 he has not put it down since. He is primarily self-taught and was one of “those” kids that just shut himself up in his room and jammed all day. “I was playing in bars and clubs before I was old enough to be in them,” said Bobby Lee. He expanded on his love for music in school and played stand-up bass in orchestras and sang tenor in choirs. In college, Bobby Lee studied classical guitar and earned an Associate’s Degree in Music Technology and a certificate in Studio Engineering. Early musical influences in his life were the likes of Jimmy Page, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, and ‘electric-style blues’ like Muddy Waters. While his shows are mostly cover songs, songwriting is his true passion. He often features a whole set of his original music. Listeners often request to hear his 30
songs. “That’s what they hire me to play,” he commented. His extensive song list is varied and he tries to make each show unique. “I try to mix it up and keep it different.” He can transition from classic artists like the Beatles, Bowie, and the Stones, to Jason Isbell, Foo Fighters, and Ryan Adams. Music is his life and his job and his release. When I asked him what he does when he is not playing music, there was a long silence. “As long as I can keep doing this and paying the bills, this is my life. Music means to me pouring it out every time I’m out there. It’s about energy reciprocation with my audience. I put out everything I’ve got and hopefully get it right back,” said Bobby Lee. In his spare time, Bobby Lee is composing original works. He travels back and forth between Hilton Head and Detroit where his the band, Duney Bros., released a full length album entitled “Broken Sleep” in 2015. He has also played with many Michigan and National acts including Brandon Calhoon and the Tobacco River Band, The Bothered Minds, and Saints of Soul to name a few. When I interviewed Bobby Lee for this article, he was working on his next 9 song recording of original works entitled “Live at Soundscape” which should be available now on iTunes, amazon, Spotify, etc. Bobby Lee has entertained at many venues around town including: Char Bar Co., Fat Patties, Old Town Dispensary, The Boardroom, Mellow Mushroom, Fishcamp on Broad Creek, and Carolina Crab Co. For more information about Bobby Lee and where you can catch a show, visit his website: bobbyleemagyarosi.com.