Bobby Lee Rodgers
Bobby Lee Rodgers A gifted musician and songwriter, Bobby Lee Rodgers began playing the upright bass at age seven, then went on to the banjo and bluegrass and to the drums. He had the fortune of playing in one of the most recognized high school bands in the country which allowed him to play with some jazz greats at a young age. He attended the state university on a music scholarship, and went on to become one of the three youngest professors ever to teach at the world's largest music college, the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusettes (Herbie Hancock was among the three.) As soon as he could write, he began writing his songs, and now has over a hundred in his published library. Bobby Lee writes most of the songs for TheCodeTalkers, which he formed in 1999 with musical patriarch Col. Bruce Hampton. Hampton's own talent of sniffing out great musicians and bringing them to the public brought the likes of Jimmy Herring (formerly of Hampton's Aquarium Rescue Unit and later of The Allman Brothers and The Dead, and more recently a regular guest of The CodeTalkers) to our attention. Hampton has been overheard making the comment that Bobby Lee Rodgers is the most talented of all those he has ever worked with. Quite a compliment to live up to, but with a most complex understanding of the voicings of a wide variety of instruments, and the fastest fingers alive, Rodgers is able to brings sounds out of one instrument that would have you swearing there were more musicians in the room! He can most often be seen playing an old acoustic guitar through a Leslie organ speaker cabinet, which Bobby Lee uses in ways you can't imagine. His next-in-line instrument of choice these days is the banjo, which may be either the acoustic or electric variety. Available to the public are several CDs showcasing Rodgers' talent, the first of which was recorded in 1998 and can be found under the name of Bobby Lee Rodgers and the Herd and is titled "Water Buffalo." The second is The CodeTalkers which is now available after a short bout of unavailability; that CD is titled "Deluxe Edition" )or if you find the one with a new cover, "Deelux Uhdishun" is it's moniker.) The most recent CD is called "Mercury Retrograde" and features a mostly-acoustic blend of BLR's vocals with several stringed instruments, all played by Rodgers. (All CDs are available through this site!) The period of time between his stay in Boston and the days of the Herd were playing with folks such as Jimmy Heath, and recording with a number of high-profile bands. These days, he is often found sharing the stage with old-timers and new-comers alike: Vassar Clements (a master fiddlist who played with the legendary Bill Monroe in his day,) Joe Craven (who's worked with the late Jerry Garcia and the David Grisman Quintet,) Jimmy Herring and "Big Daddy" Steve McMurry of Acoustic Syndicate have all recently traded licks with Bobby Lee.