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It’s a new era for Ekoostik Hookah, Phil Risko talks about his first show with eH

Phil Risko from ekoostik hookah

Phil Risko from ekoostik hookah

Written by Gretchen Gregory – gretchen.gregory@gmail.com

BOWLING GREEN — When Ekoostik Hookah’s new bass player walked onto the Clazell Theatre stage Thursday, he was admittedly a little apprehensive about his first performance in front of adoring fans – some of which have been following the band for two decades.

“I didn’t really know what to expect just because for the past two months I’ve been cramming as much as I could into my head, but I didn’t know how they played on stage,” admitted Phil Risko in an interview early this week. “When I first went out on stage I was tense, but by the second set I was a lot more comfortable.”

Standing in the same spot where Cliff Starbuck often stood, Risko played his first Hookah songs, flanked by Fred the Penguin – a cultural icon among some Hookah fans – over his right shoulder.

“All in all we thought it went as well as it could have gone,” he explained while strumming the strings of his bass guitar. “I mean there were a couple spots that I know I didn’t get perfectly down, but that was because I was cramming everything down in a short time. I listened to a couple of the recordings and you can’t really tell where I messed up, but I’m a perfectionist so it annoys me until I get it right.” Continue reading

Interview with Phil Risko, New Bass Player for ekoostik hookah

Phil Risko from ekoostik hookah

Phil Risko from ekoostik hookah

Interview by Scott Preston

Some of you may know who Phil Risko is and some of you may not. But starting soon a lot more people will be seeing a lot more of Phil. Starting in February Phil will be taking over the bass guitar duties for ekoostik hookah. Phil has most recently played bass for The Recipe and for Greenleif, a band he co-founded in 2003. Departing longtime ekoostik hookah bass player, Cliff Starbuck also introduced Phil to the crowd at the band’s NYE show at The Newport Music Hall, where Phil jammed with Cliff and the band during Sister Sugar (video clip below) and Ballad of Sam McCully.

Cincy Groove: When did you first start playing bass? Was there a reason you chose bass over other instruments?

Phil Risko: I got my first bass when I was 15. I picked it up just by listening to the radio and figuring out songs by playing along so I’ve had no lessons. I started playing out in the music scene when I was 18 with my first band which gave me exposure to the whole festival scene which was great. I chose bass because I knew that a good bass player is hard to find and both of my brothers already played the guitar and drums so I figured why not the bass as well. Along with the bass I can play the guitar and drums.

Cincy Groove: What other bands do you or have you played in?

Phil Risko: My first band Greenleif was a funk blues rock type started by me and my good friend Ryan Beke. That’s the band that I’ve been playing with for the past 7 years. I recently at the beginning of the summer joined The Recipe and played with them up until now. Continue reading