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Pequot Lakes: Wyld Ryce Band to reunite after 30 years

Submitted Photo Original Wyld Ryce band members Joel Jenkins, John Palmer, Craig Englehart, Vicki Palmer, Jim Cervin and Joey Peterson.1 / 3
Submitted Photo Original Wyld Ryce band members Joel Jenkins, John Palmer, Craig Englehart, Vicki Palmer, Jim Cervin and Joey Peterson.2 / 3
Submitted Photo New drummer Todd Johnson (right) joins original Wyld Ryce Band members, from left: Joel Jenkins, John Palmer, Craig Englehart, Vicki Palmer and Jim Cervin.3 / 3

After a 30-year hiatus, the Wyld Ryce Band - a popular lakes area band decades ago - will reunite for a performance Saturday, Aug. 5, at the Pequot Lakes Fire Department's' 100th anniversary street dance.

From 1978-87, Wyld Ryce Band played all over Minnesota - from Bemidji to the Twin Cities, and Moorhead to Duluth - but the most memorable venues include The Old Waterfall north of Brainerd, the Exchange Club in Crosslake and the former Granny's Pub in Lake Shore (now Zorbaz).

Band members eventually split up as their families grew and went their separate ways. Then longtime Pequot Lakes firefighter Bob Peterson called band member John Palmer and said it'd be fun if the band could get back together for the fire department's anniversary celebration.

"And I said, 'Wow, it would be,'" Palmer said.

After making a few calls, Palmer managed to wrangle up almost the entire band and orchestrate a reunion, with the exception of drummer Joey Peterson. Todd Johnson is filling Peterson's shoes and joining other local members Joel Jenkins, Craig Englehart, Vicki Palmer and Jim Cervin.

"We're a little rusty, but ... everybody's been playing a little bit, doing their own thing," John Palmer said, adding that the recent practices have brought back a lot of memories.

Wyld Ryce will bring back its exact set list from 30 years ago, which includes covers of Huey Lewis, Fleetwood Mac and Bob Seger.

And depending on how well Saturday night goes, Wyld Ryce fans may get more shows to look forward to.

"If it can work out, we'd possibly do a few more - four to six gigs a year or something like that. It was a lot of work to get to this point, so we don't want to just waste it," Palmer said. "We'll kind of let Saturday night be the determining factor, but we've had a lot of requests to do things. But we also have busy personal lives too."

The long-awaited reunion show will take place at 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 5, at Trailside Park in Pequot Lakes.

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