əkoostik hookah is a jam band from Columbus, Ohio. Formed in 1991, the band has made multiple national tours in the US, as well as performing in overseas locales like Amsterdam and Jamaica, although they may more commonly be found playing local Columbus, Ohio venues like Newport Music Hall, and Lifestyle Communities Pavilion. They are also fixtures at Nelson Ledges Quarry Park in Garrettsville, Ohio. The band has shared the stage with many of today's top touring "jam bands", as well as stars such as Willie Nelson, Arlo Guthrie, Bob Weir, and Bruce Hornsby.
The band's name, pronounced "Acoustic Hookah," was taken from dictionary entries for the two words. The phonetic spellings were chosen, and the schwa (ə) became the band's official symbol. "Schwa" is also the title of a song by keyboardist and primary songwriter Dave Katz. The band endorses a number of charitable causes,among them Pittsburgh's ongoing BurghSTOCK Concert Series that benefits area non-profits that assist homeless and disabled military veterans.
they host a biannual music festival called Hookahville, formerly located at Legend Valley in Thornville, Ohio or at Frontier Ranch in Kirkersville, Ohio. It was moved to Clay's park and its name was changed to The Ville. Currently it has moved back to its original spot at frontier ranch and has had its name changed back to hookahville. The spring Hookahville happens over Memorial Day weekend, and in fall, over Labor Day weekend. Hookahville has performances from many bands and is headlined by əkoostik hookah.
Dave Katz - vocals/keyboards/acoustic guitar (member inception-present),
Steve Sweney - lead guitar (member inception-present),
Eric Lanese - drums/vocals (member 1993-present),
Phil Risko - bass/vocals (member January 2010 - present),
Eric Sargent - vocals/guitar (member April 2010 - present),
John Mullins - vocals, rhythm guitar (member inception-1996, 2006-2010, no longer with the band as of 2010/04/05) ,
Cliff Starbuck - bass/vocals (member inception-2009, left band at the end of 2009 to pursue other musical projects),
Ed McGee-guitar/vocals (member 1996-2005),
Johnny Polansky-percussion/drums (member 2000-2005),
Steve Frye (aka "Octofrye") - drums (member inception-1993),
Donald Safranek - percussion (member 1992-1994)