Hip Pocket band leader and founder Marc Boon said losing three friends recently made the decision to reunite the band an easy one.
"I think at some point along the line we get into a stage of life when we take account of stuff," said Boon.
"And I said to myself 'I'm going to miss these people a tremendous amount.' And just the same, I would miss all those people I had a chance to play with over 25 years with Hip Pocket."
The three who passed were in his early 60's age range. It's an age the still energetic Boon didn't consider as being a "beginning to die" stage. Inheriting teenage step-children with his recent marriage has kept his strong sense of youth, but he said it also brings a sense of finality.
"I'm not 18 or 25 any more. I'm not even 40 anymore! That energy to play does not come as easy as it once did," said Boon.
In its heyday, Hip Pocket played relentlessly in central Illinois and stretched their reach to a more regional level. Playing a couple Presidential inaugural balls is also on the band's resume. Boon said the "sweet spot' during that time for numbers on stage at one time was nine. That's going to change with the reunion show.
"There will be 16 of us," said Boon. "Nine piece horn section, which during rehearsals made the rhythm section stop on more than one occasion just to go 'wow.'"
Boon said a few talented young players will join Hip Pocket veterans on-stage. And he's especially touched the show will include a passing of the torch of sorts. Tim Durham played harmonica with Hip Pocket for over a decade. Boon said he remembered Durham's son Andrew playing his toy harmonica years ago at a festival gig along the Peoria riverfront.
"And now Andrew's coming back and he's playing harp. He'll be on-stage with Tim. And he's also a mean tenor player, so he'll join the horn section as well. One of the sparks for me and one of the cool things about this show is to see Tim on stage with his son Andrew for the only time, at least with this band." said Boon.
Is he geeked?
"It's going to be fun," gushed Boon. "If you want to see us, I think probably now would be the better time. I never want to say never (will they play again) but let's do this, let's have some fun and make a great memory to go out on."
Marc Boon and Hip Pocket play The Castle Theater Saturday, April 29. Doors open at 7:00 p.m. Doors open at 8:00 p.m. "Hot Sauce Universe" and "One Night Band" will open the show.
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