Ekoostik Hookah

Ohio Grown

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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.

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