In 1971 in Newnan, Georgia, Donnie Lee and the late Joe Partridge along with Tommy McKoon and Junior Bundy formed a bluegrass band which was to become Bullsboro. Originally known as the “L & P Express,” the named was changed to “Bullsboro” upon learning “Bullsboro” was the original name of Newnan.
The early 1970′s featured many small bluegrass festivals throughout the region. Guitarist Mike Steed and mandolin player Johnny Jackson joined the band in 1973 at one of those festivals, the Cobb County Bluegrass Festival in Marietta, Georgia. A few years later Joe Partridge had to drop out of the music world for a time. (Joe’s comeback was partnering with Mike Flemming and Eddie Turner as a founding members of the popular regional band, Brushfire). Partridge was replaced by Victor “Butch” Adams whose banjo filled out the quartet known as Bullsboro and the band performed nearly eight years in this configuration. This band recorded a live performance album on the Atteiram label in 1978.
Bullsboro has played many festivals, concerts and private engagements over the years. Some notable performances include three dates for former President Jimmy Carter, two during his presidency, numerous television and radio appearances, and once at the old Atlanta Stadium. As bandleader Donnie Lee says, “We just love the music. We’ve played everything from pea-shellings and hog-killings to some pretty lofty jobs. We’re ready to play for anyone who can appreciate bluegrass and old time music, even when we put a few contemporary touches on it.”
The band promoted its own Bullsboro Bluegrass Festival for a number of years in Newnan, Peachtree City, and Carrollton, Georgia. Bullsboro was instrumental in having a Governor of Georgia, George Busbee, honor the late Dillard Rogers as a pioneer promoter and, at the same time, proclaim the month of May as Bluegrass Music Month in Georgia.
There is nothing more flattering to a band than a repeat booking. Bullsboro has enjoyed being booked frequently for the Bluegrass Festivals held at Hoofer’s Gospel Barn in Lagrange, Ga. The band has played at Powers Crossroads arts and crafts festival each Labor Day Weekend from 1972- 2010.
Many talented musicians have had a stint with Bullsboro including Tony Duck, Al Smith, Dale Tilley, Randy Stewart, Don Dysart, Barry Waldrep, the late Johnny Slaton, Jeff Barr and Todd Freeman. The one constant is the founder, lead singer, bass player, Donnie Lee.
Along with Donnie, Bullsboro now features Mike Steed (guitar, bass and baritone vocals), Zach Steed, (guitar, mandolin, lead, tenor and baritone vocals), David Steed, (mandolin, guitar, lead, tenor and baritone vocals), and Jeff Partridge, (banjo, mandolin, lead, tenor baritone vocals). Zach and David are sons of Mike Steed. David is married to Donnie’s daughter, Lisa. Jeff is the nephew of founding member, the late Joe Partridge.
Bullsboro latest CD. Order one here.
Be sure to meet the band when they perform near you. You will enjoy the variety of material and vocal combinations from Bullsboro, a band which has always emphasized harmony.