Guitarist John Mullins has left ekoostik hookah for the second time. Mullins co-founded the Ohio-based group in 1991 and played in the band until 1996. After an extended absence, Mullins rejoined hookah in 2005 following the departure of guitarist Ed McGee. Founding ekoostik hookah bassist Cliff Starbuck also left the group at the end of 2009.

In a statement the remaining members of Hookah said, “John Mullins has decided to move on and pursue other musical outlets. We as a band are supportive of John and his decision to leave the band. We will be playing all of our scheduled gigs and booking more as well. Due to the abruptness of it all, we will require a little time to do what we feel is best in terms of who we ask to join us as a full time band member; obviously a task not to be rushed or taken lightly. In the interim, we will have our good friend and familiar collaborator Eric Sargent standing in on rhythm guitar and vocals. We are committed to continue using the bumps and turns on our journey as opportunities to keep ekoostik hookah diverse, fresh, and healthy. We feel fortunate to have families, friends, a crew, and fans that understand and respect that course.”

Mullins remained in contact with the members of ekoostik hookah during his first time off from the band. “We’re from the same town and hang out in the same places, have the same friends,” Mullins told shortly after rejoining the group. “ I also would attend Hookahvilles, you know, I was around. To be honest, I always thought that somehow, some way, it would happen this way.”