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Kamphire Collective Reunites for Two Shows


It only took a phone call. A couple of months ago, local business owner Marcus Hunter contacted one of his clients, Jim Teeter of Gruntwerks, to see if he needed help setting up this year's Hyde Park Street Fair.

"Jim Teeter was like, 'Well, what do you guys think about doing a reunion?' And I was like, 'That's a good question,'" he said.

Hunter (who went by the MC name Origin) got in touch with the members of his old band, Kamphire Collective. When most of the guys said yes, the band agreed to reunite for two more performances, playing the Hyde Park Street Fair on Friday, Sept. 13, and Reef on Saturday, Sept. 14.

Formed back in 2005, Kamphire earned a large local fan base with a blend of thoughtful lyrics, smooth flow, rock guitar and reggae rhythms. The band released the album Simply Complex in 2007 and giggeds regularly for four years: --including sets at the 2006 and 2007 Boise Weekly music festivals, opening for George Clinton and the P-Funk All Stars in 2007 and at the 30th anniversary Hyde Park Street Fair in 2009.

After that, and in spite of the band's popularity, Kamphire Collective called it quits. "Our families were growing, and we were kind of all moving in our own directions," Hunter said.

Since disbanding, the lives of Kamphire Collective's members have taken diverse paths. For example, MC Tim Hammes (aka Timbuk2) has continued to perform locally as Exit Prose; he released the solo album Sensational Woes in 2011 and played this year's Treefort Music Fest. Guitarist Stephan "Big Bwoy" Hagstrom is an artist who specializes in glass. Drummer Todd Belcher is the soundman at the Woodshed Bar in Salt Lake City. Justin "Backbone" Rooney, who joined the band on bass after the early departure of Jake Albrethsen, will also take part in the reunion.

Except for Hagstrom, Kamphire Collective's lineup will return for these two shows. Guitarist Oscar Ortega will fill in for Hagstrom and will also perform with local Portuguese/Latin American music group Rosa dos Ventos at the Reef concert.

"We haven't played together for going on five years," Hunter said, "so we're going to get a couple of practices in and see how that goes. I think we'll be just fine."

Old Kamphire fans should take note, though: Barring any surprise developments, there will be no comeback.

"If we get signed by a record label, that's a different story," Hunter said with a chuckle.