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Ohio Grown

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Album Review

Ohio's Ekoostik Hookah manage to pull off the miraculous on the first few songs of Ohio Grown: they make their derivative sound entirely palatable, even downright good. The opening "Dragonfly" manages to take the old jamband trope of "surprising" alternations between rock and bluegrass and infuse it with a rich energy, mostly courtesy of a satisfying "Good Vibrations"-like chorus hook. Unfortunately, after a few more semi-solid tunes, the album heads swiftly downhill, finding it's nadir in the forgettable "Dancin' Outlaw". Most of the songs call on back-to-the-earth imagery - music made on back porches, wine, dancing, pure places (Colorado, mountains, long roads, the "country") and folk-influenced music - and the band's arrangements, featuring fiddles ("Dragonfly"), a gospel choir "Deal With It"), and other staples of Americana. Good or bad, the band at least works in a unified world.


Formed: 1991 in Columbus, OH

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Since 1991, the celebratory jam sounds of Columbus, OH's Ekoostik Hookah has made them one of the finest Midwestern bands to emerge from the neo-hippie scene of the 1990s. Starting off performing at local open mic nights, frontman/keyboardist Dave Katz, guitarist Steve Sweney, bassist Cliff Starbuck, and guitarist/vocalist John Mullins decided that a career in music would be financially trying yet enriching because they had a special passion for it all. The group was instantly noticed at a local...
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Ohio Grown, Ekoostik Hookah
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