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A Rising Phoenix Comes to Town

April 12, 2007 - Jim Price

If you’re looking for a new band to see in the Altoona area this weekend, Pellegrine’s has one for you this Sunday night, Apr. 15.  Sunday will mark the first Altoona appearance of Rise Phoenix Rise, a new band formed by Rob Hampton, best known on Altoona area stages as the former drummer of the Poptart Monkeys and Teacher’s Pet.


According to Rob, it was time to move on and recharge.  One of the founding members when the Poptart Monkeys formed in 1999, he was the only remaining original member of that group by the end of last year.  Feeling that he had done all he could do with the Poptart Monkeys, Rob decided to leave the group in December and start something new.  He first recruited his former Teacher’s Pet bandmate, singer/bassist Ronnie Williams.  Rob then contacted singer Gibson, a musician he first met when the Poptart Monkeys were touring in Johnson City, Tennessee; Gibson in turn recruited rhythm guitarist Jarrod Griffith, and the two hooked Rob up with lead guitarist Chris Bishop, another Tennessee product.  Because all five musicians have risen from the ashes of other bands, they selected Rise Phoenix Rise as the name of this new venture.


Rise Phoenix Rise played their first show on March 3 at Rob’s home venue, The Coal Hole in Shamokin.  The group then embarked on a tour of venues in Key West, Florida; Arkansas, Ohio and Pennsylvania.


The group’s sound is contemporary, blending elements of modern rock, pop and punk.  Rise Phoenix Rise is entering a studio this month to record their first album, expected out later this spring.


Rob is excited about the chemistry of this new project, and the potential for good things to come from it.  Based on the quality of his past resumé, Rob’s new rising phoenix could well be a major player on regional stages in short order.


Altoona music fans can find out for themselves when Rise Phoenix Rise takes the stage at 10:30 PM this Sunday night.

  Pellegrine’s is located at 1330 Pleasant Valley Boulevard in Altoona.  For more information, call 943-9223.

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