"Buddy Lee is hotter than a two dollar pistol, one of the best new writers I ever heard."
- Craig Hillis (legendary guitarist for Jerry Jeff Walker and Michael Martin Murphy)
Considering his unconventional, diversified background, it’s probably best to start at the beginning with Buddy Lee, and then move quickly! Born Melvin Lee Dobberteen in backwoods America, he grew up huntin’, drinkin’ and fightin’ like any good redneck teenager would. Along the way he picked up the nickname “Buddy” from family and friends. In 2001, a day before 9/11, Buddy enlisted in the Marine Corps. The move was consistent with Dobberteen’s penchant for getting into something before he really knew what he was getting into. After five years in the Corps that included three tours of duty in Iraq, numerous drunken brawls, and more than one scrape with death, there came a day when Buddy Lee heard the voice of God. That voice was loud and clear and Buddy Lee honestly thought he might be going nuts. The voice told him to go write songs and play music. It was something that had never crossed Buddy’s mind before. Dobberteen also explains that once he heard the voice, his life was injected with an overwhelming sense of purpose he had never known. That same week, he made arrangements to leave his career in the military and pursue music full time instead.
Buddy Lee wishes he could say his first effort at recording an album was a success story but it wasn’t. He describes his first album as “a half-cocked ride on the lame train…yet another cart-before-the-horse lesson in the Buddy Lee School of Hard Knocks”. His desire to make music bordered on compulsive…but something was missing. In August of 2007, Dobberteen moved from Southern California to South Texas to re-invent himself. Shortly after arriving in the Lone Star State, he began to inexplicably cross paths with legendary music personnel. Before he knew what hit him, Buddy found himself in the company of well-respected folk, rock, and country music artists. Buddy Lee gives credit to God for putting him in situations where he was writing songs with Will Callery (Grammy Award-nominated), jamming with musicians like Roger Creager and Monty Montgomery, and sharing the stage with artists like Bryan White (Grammy winner), Ray Benson, and Jimmy LaFave. Buddy Lee’s game had no choice but to improve.
When Buddy Lee hooked up with former Hank Williams Jr. guitarist Greg Demoore, the Backroad Band was born as Demoore suggested the idea of touring with Buddy on a route of back road honkytonks and bars from Texas to Michigan and back. Dobberteen seemed to stumble upon these kinds of relationships that impacted him in more ways than one. During the process of meeting and befriending these music artists he believed were out of his league, Buddy Lee’s songwriting and musical style improved in a way that is difficult to calculate. Music and clothing companies also began to notice him as he began to build relationships with notable companies such as Taylor Guitars, GHS Strings, Larrivee Guitars, and Truth Soul Armor. Buddy soon had endorsement or sponsorship deals with all of them. More coveted live spots at major events continued including an invite to play the annual Nashville Songwriters Festival in 2008. He was invited again this year and moved up to being billed as a “Featured Songwriter”. Shortly after that, Buddy Lee found himself on the main stage at Texas’ celebrated Luckenbach music venue this past summer for “Pickin’ For The Record”, an event that ended up in the Guinness Book of World Records. Recently, Dobberteen’s song “A Soldier’s Prayer” won the attention of award-winning producer and longtime Eric Clapton drummer Jamie Oldaker, who recorded the track with Mike Cross and Robyn Ludwick. “A Soldier’s Prayer” also features Gene Elders (Alan Jackson, George Strait, Lyle Lovett) on fiddle and the renowned Lloyd Maines on steel guitar. More touring is scheduled for Buddy Lee & The Backroad Band this year as Dobberteen finishes up his second album which will feature an ensemble of musicians and songwriters, some of them mentioned above.
So what kind of music does Buddy Lee & The Backroad Band play exactly? Considering Dobberteen’s rural roots, military service and music influences, the only qualified answer would be that Buddy Lee & The Backroad Band play American music.
More info and music samples for Buddy Lee & The Backroad Band at:
For Buddy Lee's Press Kit click here: Press Kit
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For booking info:
"Second Chances" (Featuring Jamie Oldaker)
"Soldiers' Angels" PSA with Buddy Lee