Buckeye Music Magazine
Covering the Music Scene in the Buckeye State

ekoostik hookah Live at The Newport

Ohio Home Grown at Its Best

Written by Jimmy Cummings
For the past 20 years ekoostik hookah has been at the forefront of the Jam Band scene. The Ohio grown band from Columbus is still a favorite of fans from across the country and was never more evident than Friday October 14 when the band played the renowned Newport Music Hall. Simply stepping inside The Newport is like going back in music history. The Newport stage has seen its share of legendary performers like B.B. King, Johnny Winter, Frank Zappa, Neil Young, the Grateful Dead and more. With all that history, anytime I go to The Newport is special, but with hookah coming home to play the famous venue, the night was going to be unforgettable.
ekoostik hookah has been through some changes over the years, nevertheless their fans have remained loyal. Original members Dave Katz (Keyboards, Vocals, Acoustic Guitar) and Steve Sweney (Guitar) along with veteran Drummer Eric Lanese and newcomers Phil Risco (Bass, Vocals) and Eric Sargent (Guitar, Vocals) continue to rock in that patented hookah tradition. One of the main reasons for the bands prolonged success is their fans. Loyal, devoted, dedicated are just a few of the adjectives that have been used to describe hookah fans and even those words fall short of how fans feel about hookah. Just ask our buddy Jeffery Morris (Mullet), Jeff has literally has seen the band hundreds of time, sometimes traveling hundreds of miles. But in the music world loyalty only goes so far. For a band to experience longevity in this business they must deliver on a consistent basis and that is exactly what hookah has done for the past 20 years and the show at The Newport was no different.
After an awesome set by opening act The Spikedrivers it didn’t take long for fans to begin the chants, HOOOOOOKAH! HOOOOOOKAH! The band took the historic stage to cheers and Hell Yeah’s from the many hookah heads in the audience including myself. The band started their first set with a couple of favorites, “When the Sun Goes Down” and “Hookahville” and the party was on. The set also included my favorite “Black Mamba” (Chubby said after the show it was perhaps the best version he has heard) as well as a special surprise provided by The Spikedriver’s Guitarist John Boerstler and front man Jesse Henry. The pair came out to join hookah for their version of Bad Company’s “Feel Like Making Love” with Henry on Vocals; The Newport was on fire.
After a short intermission hookah came back to the stage refreshed and ready for another set that began with the song “Sister Sugar.” The bands vocal harmonies are perhaps better than ever; Katz, Lanese, Risco, and Sargent offer a unique arrangement to hookah favorites and covers like Dr. John’s “Wrong Place, Wrong Time.” And what can I say about Sweney, in my opinion Steve is one of the best Guitarist in the country. He blew me away the first time Chubby turned me on to hookah and his performance at The Newport was unbelievable. In fact the entire band gave hookah fans a show to remember. If you are one of the few people in the Buckeye State that haven’t experienced hookah I encourage you to grab a CD or check out one of Chubby’s videos of the band and give them a listen and soon you’ll be saying, HOOOOOOKAH! HOOOOOOKAH!

Contact Information
Chubby Howard: chubby@buckeyemusicmagazine.com
Jimmy Cummings: jimmy@buckeyemusicmagazine.com
Kim Howard: kim@buckeyemusicmagazine.com
Lisa Cummings: lisa@buckeyemusicmagazine.com
© All photos, videos, and content by Chubby Howard, Jimmy Cummings, Kim Howard, Lisa Cummings, and Buckeye Music Magazine unless noted
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