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R.L. Boyce, bluesman and drummer, served for many years as a member of Othar Turner’s legendary Rising Star Fife and Drum Band. Fife and Drum—a traditional music that predates the blues, and evolved from a melding of civil war military band traditions and African polyrhythmic drumming and rhythmic traditions—was familiar to him, as he heard it regularly at social events and celebrations while growing up in the Mississippi Hill Country. Boyce played with Turner on several recordings in the 1990s, including Mississippi Blues in Memphis Vol. 1 in 1993, Everybody Hollerin’ Goat in 1998, and From Senegal to Senatobia in 1999. He also performed with the Rising Star Fife and Drum Band at the Chicago Blues Festival and many other large festivals during that decade. Today, Boyce is a respected blues singer and guitar player, and recently released the album R.L.’s Boogie on Waxplotation Records. He has performed in support of the album across the United State and Europe. Apprentice Kesha Burton is a promising young drummer and poet with a deep and growing interest in African and African-American percussion styles. Boyce and Burton are eager to see Fife and Drum revived in Tennessee, where there are no known active bands.

Watch this page for updates on the team’s progress.

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