The lineup for Hookahville 50!

əkoostik hookah (x3)

The Mullins Years with Dave Katz, Eric Lanese, Steve Sweney and (not pictured) Don Safranek, Phil Risko, and Nat Reeb.

Hookah 2.0 with Eric Lanese, Johnny Polansky, Steve Sweney, Dave Katz, Cliff Starbuck and Ed McGee.

ekoostik hookah with Matt Paetsch, Dave Katz, Eric Lanese, Eric Sargent and Steve Sweney.

For this 50th Hookahville, əkoostik hookah will play as all three major iterations of the band over the past 25 years, one each night. Hookah incorporates many genres of music into their own style, from folk to psychedelic rock, bluegrass to blues, extended jams to concise rock-n-roll. əkoostik hookah’s style includes many musical genres for a sound that in the end is distinctly “hookah”. With well over 100 original songs, and a large catalog of cover songs to choose from, you will never hear the same show twice. The band is known for its live shows and its ability to feed off of the crowd’s energy, using it to fuel the improvised set lists that create unforgettable musical experiences.

The Werks

On their forthcoming LP Magic, jamband favorites The Werks transcend their roots while never losing their identity. Poignant songwriting and engaging melody come together on a record that showcases their maturation as a multidimensional group of uniquely creative musicians.

The virtuosic rhythm junkies of The Werks have released four highly acclaimed studio albums over the past ten years – Synapse (2009), The Werks(2012), Mr. Smalls Sessions EP (2014), and Inside a Dream (2015) – performed well over one thousand shows (including launching their own multi-day music festival The Werk Out), and released countless live recordings including last year’s Live at The Werk Out live album. In that time they’ve earned a devoted fan base across the world and reputation as one of the most energetic, compelling, and downright entertaining live acts in the business. They’ve developed a hard won confidence, and a willingness to fearlessly chart new sonic territory on Magic.

Billy Strings

Billy Strings plays hard and he lives hard, picking so fast and intensely that he’s known to break multiple strings per song, and basing the songs he writes on the hard lives he grew up around in the abandoned rural communities of America. His new album, Turmoil & Tinfoil, taps into a deep vein of psychedelia in Americana, referencing everything from the Dead to Sturgill Simpson, but all underlaid by Billy’s undeniable virtuosity and his knowledge of the roots of American music. He’s one of the most beloved young bluegrass guitarists today within the bluegrass community, and his front porch in East Nashville is constantly filled up with Nashville’s best roots musicians just picking up a storm.

Ed McGee

Former Hookah singer-songwriter and rhythm guitarist (’96 – ’05) Ed McGee will play an acoustic solo set of old favorites and recent songs from his brand new album ‘Alexander III And Other Stories’ (featuring performances by Steve Sweney, Ward Scott of The Shantee, Pat Kenney of One Under, and others), which will be available at the merch area. Immediately after Hookahville Ed will be traveling on to Vermont to establish new residence there.

Rumpke Mountain Boys

The Rumpke Mountain Boys combine signature vocals, a unique command of string instruments (acoustic guitar, mandolin, upright bass and banjo) and dynamic special effects into a singular musical experience. An emotion filled musical stream of consciousness with no setlist, minimal structure, and intuitive improvisational flow. In this way, they summon the energy of the crowd as their guide in linking just the right music to precise moments in time.

Grateful Dead Hour host David Gans proclaimed, “One of the things I love about the Rumpke Mountain Boys is that there’s a fundamental honesty in their presentation. This is something they share with my other heroes, Donna the Buffalo and the Grateful Dead. They don’t make set lists ahead of time, they don’t rehearse their songs to a fare-thee-well– they perform in real time. All four of them write, which is very important, and they draw songs from a tremendous variety of sources… being a musician is a life-long learning experience, if you’re doing it right, and they are.”

Like playing around a campfire, the Boys take turns calling the next tune, distilling shows from a sea of infinite notes created from years of jamming. Drawing upon a growing catalog of originals and and an ecclectic mix of covers, the Rumpke Mountain Boys blend music like a fine Irish whiskey– the result affectionately dubbed Trashgrass.

Glostik Willy

Glostik Willy is a Rock/Metal/Alternative band from Indiana that is made up of brothers Jay Moe & Ralf Mowf, with lifelong friend Buddha Aguilar.  Glostik has spent many years crafting their unique style that has helped them to become the top midwest rock band.  A wide variety of influences combined with years of crafting, has created a monster that can be seen every time the band takes the stage.

Joe Marcinek Band

Joe Marcinek Band is an experience you will never forget. That is because each show features a different lineup of musicians creating a different set of music every night. The music is equal parts Chicago Blues, New Orleans Funk, Grateful Dead Psychedelia, and Jazz Fusion!  Joe Marcinek tours nationally from New York to LA and everywhere in between. Most of the lineups will only happen one time making every night a can’t miss show.

Blue Moon Soup

In an increasingly homogeneous musical landscape, Blue Moon Soup employs traditional bluegrass instrumentation to create a fresh take on folk. Their innovative arrangements couple seamlessly with evocative lyrical composition to convey a sound every bit as timeless as it is progressive. Drawing on the traditions of rollicking American bluegrass, haunting Celtic melodies, and the beloved and nostalgic folk movement of the 1960s and 1970s, the band gained early success with live audiences in its home state of Ohio before expanding through wide-reaching national tours, festival performances, and album sales.


Wanyama is an energizing 5 piece band creating music that entertains the grooves of funk, vibes of reggae, and the elements of hip-hop. With soulful licks and lyrical flow, Wanyama uses live bass, drums, guitar, horns and voice to cultivate their own experimental sound; Conscious Funk For Your Mind!

Songs from the Road

Songs From The Road Band is a North Carolina powerhouse group featuring Mark Schimick, Charles Humphrey, Ryan Cavanaugh, Sam Wharton, and James Schlender. Collectively, they have received top accolades in the bluegrass, Americana, and jazz genres.

Humphrey is an IBMA award & Grammy recipient. He has also garnered a spot in the NC Music Hall of Fame.  Schimick has soared to the top of the progressive and jamgrass scene alongside legends Larry Keel, Vassar Clements, and Tony Rice.  Cavanaugh has made his long-awaited return to bluegrass after 10 years of touring the world with jazz great Bill Evans and his Soulgrass project.  He has been acknowledged by Bela Fleck as an acoustic pioneer on the 5 string banjo.  James Schlender, 2 time National Fiddle Champion has shared the stage with Chick Corea, Bobby McFerrin, and George Benson.  Sam Wharton is an award winning guitar picker and singer who refined his chops in the bluegrass halls of Telluride, CO.  The Road Band delivers a high energy show full of original material from their 4 studio albums, unmatched instrumental prowess, and creative covers.

Bypass Circuit

Bypass Circuit is an all original electronic music project with emphasis on instrumentation, organic sound, growth and evolution. Spacey dancey funky!

Derick Howard

From folk to funk! Original songs and jams to original takes on a variety of covers, is what you will hear at one of Derick Howard’s shows. He performs solo as a “One Man Jam Band” by using an audio sampler to record (live) loop tracks on his guitar, bass, hand percussion, and vocals to make the sound of a full band. Derick has performed at all types of events and venues besides festivals and official after parties. From The Hard Rock Cafe’s in Chicago and Louisville to restaurants like Applebee’s, Texas Roadhouse, Max & Erma’s, and over a dozen locations of the Jimmy Buffet chain Cheeseburger In Paradise, as well as many private events and public events for universities like I.U. and Ball State. Derick has also performed benefits such as The Relay For Life, The MS Walk, Rock For Riley, and community fundraisers.

Conscious Pilot

Have you ever heard a band that has a distinct, unique sound that when you hear it you just know who it is? Isn’t that a killer feeling to experience? How does that happen? Great players, maybe. Hard work, most likely. Passion for music, absolutely. Conscious Pilot is just such a band. The players come from Wisconsin’s elite ensembles that include: The Groove Hogs, Separate Ways and Short Stuff (2017 WAMI Hall of Fame inductee). A fresh and powerful sound that is familiar and fun. Conscious Pilot, a vibe to make you shake, rattle and roll.

Oliver Hazard

Oliver Hazard is a ramshackle of uprooted folk-stomp and a chain gang choir of three.

Opposite Box

Opposite Box is an experimental rock band from Chattanooga, TN known for high energy live shows and a seamless blend of shifting genres and progressive music.  The band’s music is marked by 70s prog-inspired jazz/rock and sensory overloading live performances that are perfect for fans of Frank Zappa, Funkadelic, Aquarium Rescue Unit, The Mars Volta and Mr. Bungle.

KrisB’s Midnight Railroad

Formed of talented Ohio players very diverse in their ability, all members are individual songwriters, each with their own styles. Together they mesh into an Original Americana Bluegrass group. Inspired writing and four part vocal harmony sets this band apart from the rest.

FlowPoetry (Emcee)

FlowPoetry is the originator of Jam Poetry. One man one mic. These are socially conscious stories woven together reflecting themes of the American music festival experience. Able to do full length sets and/or perfect for a unique main stage tweener. FlowPoetry sets the tone for Hookahville as Emcee.

Smilin’ Joe

A native of the Upper Ohio Valley, Smilin’ Joe has been described as a “hippie icon” of the U.S. Swing arms at any music festival in the Eastern United States and you will likely hit at least a few people who are personal friends of Smilin’ Joe.
This widespread notoriety is the byproduct of decades spent sharing tunes with fellow music lovers and musicians during travels from show to show, primarily in the tri-state region around Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and more recently, across the nation.His rise from fan to featured act came by way of the grassiest of grassroots journeys,an ongoing venture that promises to break new ground in 2017.

Fun & Games with Wild Bill

Hookahville 50 is Sponsored by Forefathers Health & Wellness, and Black Dog Reserve.