Ekoostik Hookah and Driptides

Introducing some of the best that Ohio has to offer.

By Ray Baughman on January 31
I feel like I am back in high school finishing up an assignment that was due two weeks ago. No excuses. I just got behind but good news is you will have the January edition and the February edition pretty close together. In the first installment of my monthly newsletter I will be introducing you to a couple of my favorites that really don’t need my introduction. Ekoostik Hookah was my first choice for featured Band of the month. I regret that I didn’t get interviews with the full band but I have some nice quotes from a couple members. I then chose DripTides as my artist of the month. You might know them as simply Kyle and Olivia. Two of my favorite people in the world. Kyle has been turning heads with his tye dye creations of tshirits to 40×40 tapestries that are mesmerizing when coupled a bands dancing lights. The colors blend and change really make you question whether or not its a digital projection. Olivia, the bubbly dreadlocked fiance, never ceases to amaze me how she creates amazing works of art just by “trying something new out.” She is a natural talent that will continue to impress for as long as she decides to create. In future editions I will be introducing you to some other talented writers with a monthly column, short stories, tips from pros like Tim Lewis, or Wade Stratton. I will try to keep my articles on tract and to the point but I do love the written word, Writing was my first love and I spent a couple years doing some freelance writing for the Mansfield News Journal as well as some other smaller publications.
I decided to start this website as a means of generating more commissions for other artist and myself by creating a one stop shop for finding some local artist to support. Its been challenging as I am learning how to build a website while building a website. So bear with me and please if you have experience in website design and would like to help out send me and email. Please send your thoughts, criticisms, ideas, people your curious about or whatever is on your mind to me via the contact us button at the top of the page. The newsletter seemed like a natural next step that can be a way for fans to connect with artist they love on a deeper level. There has already been so much great community work done by fans of Hookah, Glostik Willy, Dustin Smith , and John Welton to mention just a couple of influential folks. So Im not trying to step on toes or one up anyone. I really just want to be an extension of what was started before I got here. Trying to bring something good to the table. To give back to the fans who make our lives possible. So to anyone who has purchased art from me or any other artist , or just gone to festivals supporting their favorite musicians I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. Truly you are the real MVP’s. Giving us the ability to pursue our passions full time is the greatest gift in the world.
I will also be adding a calendar to the page for quick easy ways to find events going on in the Midwest. So please keep me updated on events as they are scheduled and I will do my best to keep the calendar updated. Without further ado I give you Ekoostik Hookah.

T.B.D.B.I.T.L?Photo credit Ray Baughman on August 29, 2019 Hookahville 52 Clear Fork Ski Resort.
Photo credit Ray Baughman on August 29, 2019 Hookahville 52 Clear Fork Ski Resort.

To some that would be sacrilegious so I will add that isn’t The Ohio State Marching Band. I had heard stories of Ekoostik Hookah But had gotten married in 1995 and had my little girl mid way through the year. I had cut my hair, got a real job, and tried to become a businessman. I did not have my hand on the pulse of the music scene as Hookah was starting the longest running festival in Ohio. I was a grunge rock flunky. I wasn’t a big jam band guy with the exception of the Grateful Dead. I even got to see Jerry’s last performance in Ohio before the dark day of his death arrived at our doorsteps.
Ekoostik Hookah had begun to light up the nights of festivals with a professional sound and light show that would delight the ears and eyes of many spirit world inhabitants. Sadly I missed the Willie Nelson Show, both of the shows with Bob Weir, of the Grateful Dead. The Mud fests. John Mullins had passed away by the time I heard of them. Ed McGee had cut his hair and left the band to pursue some other options. Cliff Starbuck had moved on. Steve Frye,Phil Risko, Donald Safranek had also moved on. But the band has continued to thrive and I was blown away when I finally got to see them at Hookahville 52. It was held at Clear Fork Ski Resort which is like 15 minutes from my house so that was super convenient. I remember standing in the field overlooking the stage and just taking in the sights and sounds of the best damn Hootenanny I have ever been to. They aren’t a little garage band that trots out sheepishly and plays some originals mixed with covers. They are a professional fucking rock band and I was just so happy and blessed that it was so close to my house. I was in the spirit world along with quite a few others and remember thinking to myself. “If only the fine upstanding citizens of Richland County could see a throng of modern day hippies dancing and singing and hooping and hollering.” It was a spectacle that every music lover should make a point to attend before they die. Not the band…the band is gonna play for another 40 years I think.
So after H52 Covid made its entrance and royally fucked a whole year of music and festivals but the Band returned in full glory for EH30 the 30th anniversary concert At Legend Valley. That concert introduced pod seating to keep us socially distanced and it did seem to be an excellent way of being mindful of everything going on. Then the Fall Hookahville at Brushy Fork was an amazing display of both fandom and band professionalism as storms tried to rain on everyone’s parade. I lost both my 3rd and 4th pop up tents that I use to display art in. I lost the first at Dreamfest and the second at Tomato Fest. And I was not prepared for emotions of the struggle of all of that. By the end of the festival season and Hookaween I was worn out and seriously pondering if that is a path that is right for me as a creator. While I still haven’t determined exactly what this next year looks like for me. I do plan to attend as many festivals as I can and to live paint where ever they let me. I really enjoyed the interaction at Brush Fork as I painted the mural there and I think festival goers enjoyed that experience as well. So if you have a wall that is boring, hit me up. .
Its impossible to say who is really the best damn band in the land. What can be said is that Ekoostik Hookah is arguably the most influential band to come from Ohio of all time. The festival scene in Ohio is probably the best in the country. Or some folks say. Hookahville is the longest running festival in Ohio at 30 ish years. Thats what you can expect from my reporting details matter but some details not as much. Willie Nelson brought his bus to one of them Bob Weir from the Grateful Dead joined them on two occasion Dave said. I had only heard of one before and only saw video of one. So Im just taking him at his word. Thats pretty fucking bad ass that Bob fuckng Weir came to Hookahville and had such a good time he came back for more. So many festivals learned from what they did to create pretty amazing echo system of artist, musicians, food vendors, clothing manufacturers, Light and sound engineers, roadies, groupies, wooks, writers, philosophers,moms and dads, sisters and brothers.
There are second generation Hookaheads who are playing in bands and starting their own festivals. Glostik Willy, next months featured artist, are kids at 32 and have been playing as power trio for 20 fucking years. Ekoostik Hookah has been like a cool ass uncle and they have really developed some amazing chemistry together.
Glostik Willy had a big loss this past week as Ralf Mowf and Jay Mo father Jake passed away. Say a prayer for the boys and their mother. I didn’t have the pleasure of meeting him but he did something right to instill a work ethic not often seen in the world of Rock and Roll. Next month they have WillyTown South Festival in Florida. We will catch up to them hopefully along the way and they can share a bit of how the hardest working band in the business is doing. They are Twitch house band and if your not hip to them you would be wise to check their Stream on Twitch Sunday 5 or 6 to midnight or 1. Then like 10 to 3 Monday through Thursday. Hippy Metal at its finest baby. Get hip or get left behind.
It was music like theirs that first got me rocking in the actual 80s. They play it really well. Click the link to join me in an Ekoostik Hookah classic song.
Another good man Gone .https://youtu.be/J1UilSqR2Xg

Dave Katz Interview
Looking back to the beginning can you pinpoint something that led you to make the choice of making music your career. And if you weren’t playing music what would you be doing?
Dave Katz: I started taking piano lessons at age 5, so I always played. I always enjoyed it, but I enjoyed playing sports even more. In my mind, I was going to go to college, play sports, hopefully football, and see where that took me. During the summer after 10th grade, my doctor said I wasn’t going to grow any more. I could play, I mean, I was pretty good, but I was in a Division I high school and the other kids were getting pretty big. Football didn’t seem realistic as far as long term plans go, so I decided music was going to be the way to go. Left home for LA 3 weeks into my Junior year and never looked back. I have no idea what I’d be doing if I wasn’t playing music. Probably wishing I had made it to the NFL! LOL
The thing about email interviews is the lack of follow up questions and things I would like to explore deeper. I am considering a Podcast and for sure plan to ask Dave to join me sometime for Talking Shit in the Studio . I would love to hear about the early days in L.A. I am sure that was exhilarating and terrifying in the very same breath. I’m sentimental and cry during a kleenex commercial..is there a song you guys play that makes you tear up a bit?
Dave: I have a few. D’Artagnan is a song I wrote about my Anatolian Shepherd. He was an amazing dog! He got bone cancer, and we had to put him down at age 6. I was able to finish the song the night before, and I sang it to him in our backyard. I remember it well. Hookah first played it at a Hookahville not long after. I was crying while singing it. It sometimes still brings tears to my eyes. That’s just one example.
Too much too fast..is great advice ..did you ever not take the advice?
Dave: There’s a lot of times I haven’t taken advice. Sometimes it worked out well, and sometimes not. As far as “too much, too fast”, I’ve definitely paid the price for not listening at times. LOL!
Listen up Boys and Girls: Public Service Message. You can always take more you can not take back what you have taken. Be mindful that when you lose your mind and shit yourself someone is gonna have to take care of you,. No one wants to, No one deserves that, It happens but if happens multiple times your gonna find yourself very alone. Or in a crisis tent curled up in the fetal position wondering what you are. Psychedelics can be an amazing eye opening experience but it can also lead you to places you won’t ever make it back from. Peer into the abyss of knowledge with a curious mind but do not linger for there are some things our human brains cannot fathom and can be broken.
What’s the strangest place you were recognized at?
Dave: That’s tough. I’ve been recognized in a lot of different places. One that comes to mind was when I was on my honeymoon in Hawaii. My wife and I heard about a red sand beach that only the locals knew how to access. We asked, found the trail, walked on a very narrow path that wound around a cliff and down to the beach. The beach was clothing optional, so I stripped down, laid there in my altogether, and a guy walked up to me and said, “hey, you’re in ekoostik hookah”. It was strange, but cool.
Covid has been tough for so many people but I’m always trying to find the thing of beauty in the midst of the dark time. Can you tell me about something good that has come from this either personally or that the band has experienced?
As far as the band goes, I can’t say that COVID has brought anything good. It’s been a rough road from that perspective. However, because I delved into the world of streaming, I did come to realize that I could play solo for 3 hours or more and not get completely bored with myself. Not only that, but there are people that will actually listen to me for that long. I guess I would consider both of those, good things.
You guys sound amazing to me and show no signs of slowing down. Any new festivals your playing at that your looking forward to this summer.
Right now we don’t have any new festivals planned, but I’m looking forward to getting back to some of the ones we’ve played before. We will be back at Willy Town, and I always love playing with Glostik Willy. We’ll be doing our second show at Back Home Festival in New Martinsville WV. We had a great time there last year, so it will be nice to do that again. Always great to play The Chaffee Gathering in Girard, PA. Doug Chaffee has done such a great job over the years of throwing his truly “homegrown” festival right next to his house. There will be a couple/few more, and of course we will be having Hookahville May 13-15 and September 2-5.

ERIC SARGENT
night?
Eric- Our first show was at the Dell on Parsons ave. It was Dave and John’s birthday and I didn’t really know anyone but it was a lot of fun and there was a party after.
Ray-How long did it take for you to feel comfortable and like you were a full fledged band member?
Eric- I felt full fledged pretty immediately….lots of support from the guys and our attitudes were so similar when playing

Ray- Hookaween night was a challenge

Interview with Eric Sargent
I really enjoy watching the interaction between you and Dave on stage. Sometimes you just have a big ole grin and just enjoying being right where you are, So when did you join the band?
Eric:I joined after John left the band in 2010, before that I was in several bands. I was in a band called Screamin Peach with Eric Lanese from Hookah which really helped get me into the band because he knew my personality and capabilities.
Have you always wanted to be in a band or were you working a normal job before.
I was always in bands but not on the same level as Hookah, I was working then and still do other work outside the band. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be in a band on the level of Hookah but here I am 11 years later!
I’m sure you remember your first show with the band. Can you describe that night?. How long did it take you to feel like you were a full fledged member?
Eric: I definitely remember it. They called me around 5pm the night before a show and asked me to sit in the whole night, it was a very long 3 set show. So I had to stay up and learn as many songs as I could the night before. After that they were like see you next weekend and I just kept showing up. It wasn’t really discussed about me becoming a full fledged member but I’d say after 6 months I felt pretty comfortable.
Do you have any stories of fans coming up and helping to welcome you and allowing you to feel more comfortable?
Eric: That happened for sure, I can’t think of 1 specific time because so many people were encouraging and welcoming over the years. I do remember some of the people who were really cheering for me at my first few shows, I won’t name any names but I still appreciate it 😉

Do you have a moment you can pick out that was just perfect…like the first time you felt completely in the zone and the band was in the zone ….and it was just bliss. I’m sure you do, so maybe describe that for me if you can.
I remember getting comfortable musically pretty quickly, we put in a lot of work the first year I was in the band. I can’t remember the first time I felt that way but I do remember feeling it, I joined after John left the band in 2010, before that I was in several bands. I was in a band called Screamin Peach with Eric Lanese from Hookah which really helped get me into the band because he knew my personality tyoe..
Im sure you remember your first show with the band can you describe that night. How long did it take you to feel like you were a full fledged member?
I definitely remember it. They called me around 5pm the night before a show and asked me to sit in the whole night, it was a very long 3 set show. So I had to stay up and learn as many songs as I could the night before. After that they were like see you next weekend and I just kept showing up. It wasn’t really discussed about me becoming a full fledged member but I’d say after 6 months I felt pretty comfortable.
Do you have any stories of fans coming up and helping to welcome you and allowing you to feel more comfortable?
That happened for sure, I can’t think of 1 specific time because so many people were encouraging and welcoming over the years. I do remember some of the people who were really cheering for me at my first few shows, I won’t name any names but I still appreciate it 😉
Do you have moment you can pick out that was just like perfect…like the first time you felt completely in the zone and the band was in the zone ….and it was just bliss. Im sure you do so maybe describe that for me if you can.
I remember getting comfortable musically pretty quickly, we put in a lot of work the first year I was in the band. I can’t remember the first time I felt that way but I do remember feeling it, My first Hookahville is a likely candidate for that. I remember we all felt really good after that show.
Whats your current favorite hooka song to play and sing.
Eric: As a fan, before I was in the band it was a song of Dave’s called Find Out, I liked the odd time signature and dark vibe of that song. Still one of my favorites because we don’t play it too much. Other than that I don’t have a favorite because we might play a terrible version of a song I like or a great version of a song I wasn’t excited to play!
Favorite Band not hookah.
Eric: Current band maybe tedeschi trucks
What festival are you looking forward to this year beside Hookahville.
Eric: I think we will be back at Willytown which I’m excited for but I haven’t looked at the schedule to know what else is coming up. I get overwhelmed if I look at the schedule too much so I just take it as it comes.
Is there a band or musician that you would like to play with in a all start type of jam
Eric: I got to play with Warren Haynes once which was awesome! I don’t think about playing with other bands much because I still enjoy what I get to do with Hookah!

Interview with Eric Lanese
Ray- What were you doing in the days before you joined Hookah?
Eric- I have almost always had a job of some sort. My first band was in high school, and we played most weekends at vfw’s and moose lodge’s and bars around Knox county. I worked at a retail store stocking shelves back then. Then I was in a heavy rock band that rehearsed every Wed and then played local bars and some towns farther away. A lot of gigs at the Alrosa villa, battle of the band’s and opening for bigger regional/national acts. I was on a surveying crew then. I was playing open mic nights with whoever and working as a trim carpenter when I got called to sit with hookah when Steve Frye quit. Now I do MB1 and hookah and design and build custom woodworking and mill working projects.

Ray- I’m sure you remember your first show with the band. Can you describe that night?
Eric- Our first show was at the Dell on Parsons ave. It was Dave and John’s birthday and I didn’t really know anyone but it was a lot of fun and there was a party after.
Ray-How long did it take for you to feel comfortable and like you were a full fledged band member?
Eric- I felt full fledged pretty immediately….lots of support from the guys and our attitudes were so similar when playing

Ray- Hookaween night was a challenge because of the rare absence of Dave. The version of Loner was epic. Describe how you felt while crushing that song.
Eric-The loner was fun. I’m always in the moment so I didn’t really have thoughts while playing other than make sure the lyrics sheet doesn’t blow away. Thanks for the reception of it..I hadn’t heard from anyone really about it.
Ray- Oh man everyone loved it There were not worried faces but I could tell others were wondering how this was gonna sound without Dave. But from the opening chords to when you broke into song the crowd was into it. I don’t want to say it was better than with Dave but that version that night due to the circumstances, specifically my situation of being alone much of that weekend. It made me tear up. That isn’t very difficult. I have probably cried five times in the writing of this damn newsletter lol. But they aren’t sad tears. Just my heart is being touched. And apparently I have a leak somewhere around my eyes.
That song and Chris B singing Neil Young Keep on Rocking in the Free World. I sang it word for word with Chris and I was singing loud enough for him to hear because gave a look like dude, stop singing over my song. I didnt stop singing because the title of the song actually tells me to keep on rockin in the free world.
What are you looking forward to the most this year?
Looking forward to playing live without covid worries.

Driptides

It’s my honor to introduce you to a couple of the best people in the Art sector. Kyle and Olivia both have amazing stories of overcoming addiction to opiates. I have known Kyle for a minute. I used to bartend with his Mom and she would always tell me how she was worried for her baby Kyle who was struggling with a heroin habit that nearly took his life on more that one occasion. I am so thankful they found the strength to break free of that. Its an inspiration to watch their growth as people and fellow creatives.

I know you both have a history of addiction and more importantly of overcoming addiction. Can you share how that looked in the opening days?
Olivia- Before getting clean, I had no idea who I was or what my beliefs really were. In my early days of sobriety I was scared to death, but I figured it was time to push myself out of my comfort zone because that was the only way I would achieve growth. Days into my sobriety, I began experimenting with paint and I knew it was going to change everything about me. Falling in love with art is what made me who I am today and kept me going. Learning how to love yourself again is a really hard task to overcome, but one day at a time I was waking up loving the person I was becoming and a lot of that came through the things I was creating.
Ray- I love that answer and I can see how art was always therapy for me but at the time I was trying to learn how to do it. You have a natural talent. If I don’t fall at Gatton Rocks we aren’t even having this conversation. I wouldn’t have picked up the paint brushes if I wasn’t stuck in a wheelchair. If you hadn’t become an addict you’re probably not doing this. It’s why I am literally thankful for everything. The good, the bad and the ugly.
Ray- Obviously you had no idea that Drip Tides would be so well received or that you would improve to where you’re at now. Right now there is some newly sober person out there trying desperately to find a way to stay sober. Can you point them to a place that you once were and say this is what worked for us?
Olivia- My sobriety was a train wreck in the beginning. I relapsed many, many times. Start small and celebrate the little milestones. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Set boundaries with anyone or anything that you need to. I was able to finally surround myself with individuals who truly gave a shit about me and my well being. Pick and choose carefully who you let in your circle while continuing to spread love to the ones who are not. Sometimes you have to love people from a distance, and that is a hard pill to swallow but you have to be selfish in your sobriety. Push yourself to do things you normally wouldn’t do. There are many roads to recover and everyone’s path looks a little different. Don’t let anyone else define the recovery that you want for yourself.💛

Ray-I know you both have said you’re new to being an artist which blows me away because some of it comes so naturally to you. Can you point to a mentor or someone on youtube that helped you get to the point where you decided to press on.
Olivia- Loui Jover has been one of my favorite artist for some time now. I also fell in love with the kk tiedye company. She has inspired me to take my tie dye abilities to the next level. Kyle- dirtwolf dyes is who really pushes me to achieve the tie dye skills I have. My most “looked up to” artist is Justin Biffer. He’s a beast.

Ray-There is often an awkward phase where many people quit their pursuit of art as a career because they don’t see the progress they need to keep at it. I always say I’m not talented. I’m just too stubborn to quit. Are there any defining moments that stand out that you can point to and say this person commented on a post and it inspired me to keep creating?
Olivia- I think everyone who has been by our side and supported us through this growth have inspired us to continue creating. We really just want to make good quality dyes that people can smile in while rocking.😊

Ray-You guys are like the psychedelic Brady Bunch. How has art helped with the blending of the families?
Olivia-We really just want to show our babies that they can do or be whoever they want in this short time here. We want them to chase their dreams as we are. We often bring them to some of the least rowdy festivals to show them a different way of life than what they’re seeing in the real world today. My hope is that they each pour love out into the world with every year that they grow.

Ray-I just love you guys so much…this answer made me cry for the second time tonight.

What’s next for you guys? Are there new mediums you want to explore?

Kyle- We have really been working on making clean bright dyes that stand out in a crowd. We have been incorporating bleach art and fabric paint into our dyes as well. It’s been fun to play with some new techniques and materials. Keep checking in for all of our new creations!

Ray-I was encouraged by an artist, Dan Ekis, to not only make goals but to tell why I had the goals I did. So picture yourselves 10 years out, what are you doing? Close your eyes and picture it. The sounds, the smells, just paint the picture for us if you can.

Olivia- The goal for us is to eventually purchase a home in the country. Somewhere that our kids can run and play with all the dirt.😁 Our biggest goal is to grow our business big enough that we are able to quit our day jobs and get by off the income from our small business. Making art with each other everyday would be a dream come true.

Ok really quick closing rapid fire
Kyle- can’t choose just one. Loner, Mississippi Steam boat, Arctic Song Olivia- Smile and Sing
Favorite place to attend a festival.
Brushy Fork for both, duh. (Ray I concur. There is a sacredness to the grounds there. I had a life changing moment that Olivia had almost identically to mine. But different festival different modes of spirit travel. I’ll try to add her and my story as a bonus at the end.)
Favorite Festival Food.
Disco Pizza, hands down, no hesitation for both of us.
Favorite band that no one my age has heard of. Kyle- Kash’d Out. Olivia- The Quasi Kings are my jam right now.
What song do you love that you would be embarrassed to be caught singing.
Kyle- We belong together by Marah Carey. Olivia- T.I. Top Back
What festival are you looking forward to the most this year.
Kyle- Willytown South. Olivia- Pyro
List your social media contact information.
@driptides FB Insta and TikTok

Ray- And finally what would you like to see the Festival Family do as a group to make the world a better place.
Truthfully, let’s all pick up our shit.

Ray- Thank you so much for taking the time to answer these questions. I love you both so much and am always encouraged by your smiles.
We love you right back and are thankful for all the positive energy you put into the scene.

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