Hookah Brown Calls It Quits

Just over six months after playing its first show, Hookah Brown has split due to "personal and business issues."

Just over six months after playing its first show, Hookah Brown has split due to "personal and business issues." The group, led by former Black Crowes guitarist Rich Robinson and rounded out by former Moke vocalist John Hogg, bassist Fionn O'lochlainn, and drummer Bill Dobrow, made the announcement on its official Web site.

"Due to some personal and business issues that we were unable to overcome, Hookah Brown is no more," Robinson said. "I thought we were becoming a really good band, but sometimes life gets in the way of people being able to make music together. I appreciate all the love and support that we received from you over the past year, and I hope to see you soon."

The group was said to be at work on its debut album and was negotiating a new record deal for its release. Hookah Brown had road-tested the material during a series of short U.S. tours over the past few months. A spokesperson for Robinson did not respond to a request for comment.

In January, Robinson spoke excitedly to Billboard.com about the early stages of the new endeavor. "I wrote about five songs worth of lyrics but I wanted to hear what John could do," he said. "I had all these other songs I didn't even bother writing lyrics for, and when he went to work on them, they came out unbelievably. I love the way he sings. I love his phrasing and his lyrics. It was something that really worked."

Robinson said he had been working on a couple of other projects in addition to Hookah Brown, but their status is not known. One of them, which he dubbed Diad Music, involved recording Beethoven's Fugue in D Minor as a piece of dub music. "We had a string quartet come in," Robinson said. "We put reggae guitar with piano, bass, and drums and then dubbed it out with all the effects. It's amazing."

"I also had an idea of creating a symphony of world musicians," he continued. "You replace violins with sitars and tubas with an array of didgeridoos. I wanted them to play a really archetypal classical song; something really set in stone, and to play it with their own interpretations and taking into account the limitations of older instruments." Robinson said he had been in talks to stage a live performance of this project in 2004.