Maco Station - The Story
Our story begins on a
rainy and cold Sunday in March of 1995. The setting is an old tobacco barn located
outside of Atkinson, NC. That is all the ingredients you need to make a Rock-n-Roll
band. Yes it is true Maco Station started out as a country-rock band but over the
years things have changed. Although we still have a few kickin' country tunes in our
song list, we have sort of progressed to Classic Rock, Blues and Dance Music.
Likewise, the faces in the band have changed some over the years. However, only one
of the original three members is still here... Jim Shields (lead guitar) otherwise
known as "Big Daddy". Karen Heath (lead vocals) joined the band in January
of 2000, Jamie O. (drums) joined in September of 2002 and Bill Ferencak (bass) came
back temporarily in the fall of 2002. These four muscians now carry the torch....or
maco light if you will. Together they deliver a "Hard Driving, Guitar Rocking,
Gotta Dance" sound that is catching on all over Southeastern North Carolina.
Maco station has been lucky to have some wonderful musicians in their family (as any member of Maco Station will always be part of the family!) The three original members were Jim Shields (guitar), James Bufkin (drums and vocals) and Billy Bob Stratton (bass & vocals). Shortly after the band began Mitch Batchelor (rhythm guitar and lead vocals) joined the band and Maco Station was off and running......... James Bufkin left the band after a year and Beth Bigford (was Harris) stepped in as the new drummer. She was with the band for about a year or so contributing her wonderful hard rocking style! After Beth on drums came John Casciato. So at that time, the band consisted of Mitch, Billy, Big Daddy and John and they created Maco's original CD, "Well...There You Go!" You can still find this CD in many local music stores in town. Mitch then moved out of town and the band became a three piece. Billy and John shared the singing. The band stayed a three piece for about a year until, Jim met this young woman at the Music Loft (where he works). She asked him if he knew anyone looking for a female vocalist. He told her that his band was thinking of having a female front person - so he told her to go to a gig and see if she liked what she heard. So Karen Heath (Kurtzman at the time) went to see Maco Station at Reggie's back in Jan. of 2000 and loved what she heard and the rest is history. This became the new sound of Maco Station with three singers! Well Billy Bob decided to retire after 5 years with the band, he needed to spend time with his family, so Maco was on a search for a new bass player. In walks Bill Ferencak. Bill played in several local bands in town - many years ago he played with "Radio Flyer" back when they had a full band! Well the story continues.....Bill was with us for about a year and then he became the bass player for the band "Too Far Away" ..... and Billy Bob came out of retirement! Billy was with us for almost a year and then ..... Well now we get to the present Maco Station... at the time of Billy's departure, John decided to move back to Pittsburgh to be with his family. Maco could have fallen apart losing two major members, but Big Daddy and Karen wanted to go on, so in came Jamie O. on drums and vocals. Jamie's most recent gig was with a local band "Whistle Pig". This past fall was kind of crazy, Maco Station had two bass players filling in. Bill Ferencak came back to help the band out playing bass - thanks Bill, we couldn't have made it through the fall without him - and BillyBob also was able to help us out with a few gigs. It was fun for awhile! We even played a gig with both Billy and Bill - Bill on rhythm guitar- at Loretta's! Now, Bill Ferencak is still filling in temporarily once again! Too bad this "temporary" position couldn't change to "permanent"!
Our sound and songlists' may have changed, but Maco Station will always be what it started out to be back in 1995, a fun rock & roll band that gives a performance to be remembed everytime!
Thanks to all the muscians who make up the Maco Station Family over the past 8 years! We love y'all!!!!