Out of Indianpolis funk legends (and Egon’s Funky 16 Corners impetus) The Highlighters’ proverbial ashes rose The Rhythm Machine. Due to the stress and economic hardship of constant touring, many of The Highlighters quit the band in 1970 and returned to Indianapolis to strike out on their own. James Boone and James Brantley, determined to make a go of it as a show band, assembled another high-energy group of musicians. Boone’s cousin Julius Mack, living in Louisville, Kentucky, at the time, signed on for tenor sax, as did the awesome alto-saxophonist Mardie Williams from Muncie, Indiana. Young Kevin Farrell dropped out of Harry Wood High School to join the band. “I took him out of school when he was a sophomore; I raised that boy,” Boone remembers. Drummer Robert Dycus – fresh off his tenure with Billy Ball – obviously knew a thing or two about the funk sound.
Though the band recorded three singles and an LP, their strength was touring. “We couldn’t understand why we would draw,” Boone marvels, adding, “It was unbelievable man. If we had had a big record, we would have made it. But we were more into surviving on the road than we were into trying to be in the recording business.” Now-Again has issued the majority of the Rhythm Machine’s catalog on various CDs and LPs.