Sunday Thought Series: Revisiting Central PA

The year was 1994. The venue was The Crowbar in State College, PA. It was an opening gig for The Badlees, one of the biggest bands in central PA. The club was packed with rowdy college kids.

We hit the stage and, to my surprise, the people there really seemed to like us! It was the beginning of a great relationship with the central PA music scene. The band was called Earth to Bob, and I was their drummer.

After that night, we played countless shows up and down the east coast, feeling most at home in places like The Firehouse or The Silo in Reading, Shakey’s in Hershey, The Courtyard in New Cumberland and many, many more. We recorded our second CD, “Toll Roads and Detours,” at the legendary Green Room in Harrisburg. It was a truly joyful time in my life. Touring around in our converted baby blue short bus, hearing our songs on the radio, hanging with great people and meeting cool new friends was a great ride.

There were many other outstanding bands that were a part of that scene, too, like The Jellybricks, Rob Reilly and 78 West, who made that scene come alive in the mid-90s.

A lot has changed since then. Some of us went on to become lawyers, teachers, and construction workers. Most of us have families with kids now. Through it all, we’ve never lost our love of music.

I’m really happy to be playing again with my band, Go Evolution. As far as the other guys in Earth to Bob, Jeff Bishop has been recording a lot with Rob Reilly as part of their duo, Bishop/Reilly. Todd Johnston is also at work in a new studio, and we are patiently awaiting new material. Matt Thomas continues to record and play live in several bands.

I’m looking forward to being a part – even if it’s a small part – of the Pennsylvania music scene once again. Judging from some of the music I hear on The Quinn Spinn, PA still has some really great talent.

Coming from New Jersey, I’m feeling the itch for a road trip pretty soon!

Matt Phillips is the singer and guitarist for alternative rock band, Go Evolution. Listen and learn more at

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