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Southern rockers meet Seminole superfan Richard Osceola

Richard Osceola, left, gifted Charlie Starr of Blackberry Smoke a Seminole vest and hat outside of Revolution Live in Fort Lauderdale on July 14, 2022, prior to the band’s concert that night. (Photo Calvin Tiger)

FORT LAUDERDALE – If you give Richard Osceola the chance, he’ll talk to you about music for as long as you let him. He says it’s in his blood – particularly Southern rock.

“Seminole country grew up on those kinds of bands,” Osceola said. “A lot of the older generations grew up in Southern rock, country, blues and jazz. We’re big fans.”

A couple years ago at a show in Jupiter, Osceola met Charlie Starr – the lead vocalist and guitarist of Atlanta-based rock band Blackberry Smoke. After signing Osceola’s Blackberry Smoke cowboy hat, Starr commented on how much he liked the Florida State University-Seminole patchwork vest Osceola was wearing.

“I told him my mother made it for me and that I’d have one made for him,” Osceola said.

His oldest daughter, Madeline, crafted the vest and fast forward two years later – Osceola presented it to Starr prior to a July 14 show at Revolution Live in Fort Lauderdale.

“He was very honored that we gave it to him,” Osceola said.

Osceola’s uncle, Howard, sent a cowboy hat with Seminole beadwork with his nephew to also give to Starr. Tribal member Ricky Doctor, from the Big Cypress Reservation, did the beadwork.

“My uncle asked me to give it to him. I grew up building chickees with him and we were always into music,” Osceola said. “The Osceola family has always been into music.”

Hollywood Councilman Chris Osceola, his brother, went to the July 14 show as well.

Richard Osceola said he’s seen Blackberry Smoke perform live three times. He particularly remembers when they opened for country music act Zac Brown Band at a Tampa show. He hopes they’ll be invited to perform at a future Seminole Tribal Fair & Pow Wow on the Hollywood Reservation.

“We need more Southern rock at the Hard Rock,” Osceola said with a chuckle. “I try to scout these bands out before they get too popular and get them to perform at Field Day shows.”

Elizabeth Cook, who is from Wildwood, Florida, is one of the acts Osceola helped book to perform at a Brighton Field Day concert in early 2020 before the pandemic hit. Cook is Nashville-based country music artist and radio host on SiriusXM’s “Outlaw Country” station.

While Osceola has lived on the Brighton Reservation for the past 10 years, he’s originally from the Hollywood Reservation.

“We used to go to concerts at the old Hollywood Sportatorium,” he said. “That’s where I saw Lynard Skynard.

Lynard Skynard is one of Osceola’s top three favorite bands along with Blackberry Smoke and the Marshall Tucker Band. He’s seen all three perform live.

Osceola, left, and Starr outside of Revolution Live in Fort Lauderdale on July 14, 2022. Osceola first met Starr at a live show in Jupiter. (Photo Calvin Tiger)
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Damon Scott
Damon is a multimedia journalist for the Seminole Tribune. He has previously been an editor and reporter for digital and print media in Florida and his home state of New Mexico. Send him an email at damonscott@semtribe.com.
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