After a hiatus of close to four decades, a local band will reunite to play the music they enjoyed during their high school years.

After a hiatus of close to four decades, a local band will reunite to play the music they enjoyed during their high school years.

In 1972, three Hannibal High School students formed a rock ‘n’ roll band, inviting two more friends into the fold shortly thereafter. The band grew to eight members by 1976. Band members previously called themselves “Unlawful Assembly” and “Christopher Redd,” before settling on the name “Hot Rice” in 1976, drummer Brad Darr said.

1976 was the last year the band members played together. But just like rock ‘n’ roll music itself, the band lives on.

Vocalist and guitarist Greg Asmussen; bassist John Lierle; tenor saxophone, flute and cowbell player Kent Oglesby; keyboard, guitar and trombone player Phillip Gross; drummer Brad Darr and bassist Rick Oltman will take the stage together on Friday, July 3, 2015, at Mark Twain Brewery.

The musicians will play songs from bands including Santana, Doobie Brothers, Grand Funk Railroad, Creedence Clearwater Revival and Bachman Turner Overdrive. “Steppin’ Back” member Gentry Youse will join in the performance, and the evening will kick off with an opening set from soloist Mike Moore at 9 p.m., Darr said.

The concert will also serve as a warm-up for the band’s future performance during the Class of 1976 40th Reunion during Labor Day Weekend 2016, at Mark Twain Brewery. Although the band formed in Hannibal, band members are coming from numerous parts of the country to reunite.

Asmussen lives in Hannibal and plays guitar in “Steppin’ Back” with vocalist, keyboard and trumpet player Youse, Lierle said.

Lierle graduated from the Cleveland Institute of Music and lives in Williston, N.D.; Darr lives in Illinois, singing and playing guitar at more than 150 spots in Illinois, Indiana and Missouri; Oglesby graduated from Missouri State University and lives in Springfield, Mo., with more than 40 years of experience playing tenor saxophone; and Gross attended Georgia Tech University and married his high school sweetheart. The couple settled in Fort Worth, Texas. Oltman lives in Dallas, Texas and performs in bands in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, Lierle said.

Members of the band look forward to having fun and sharing their favorite songs from the band’s heyday, Darr said.

Reach reporter Trevor McDonald at trevor.mcdonald@courierpost.com