Houston Jones: Biographies
TRAVIS JONES: lead vocals, acoustic guitar
Hailing from Shreveport, Louisiana, Travis began his musical career at the age of four, singing gospel duets with his mother, Lottie Adams, a recording artist for Paula Records. From gospel music, the ever-evolving Travis moved to rock and roll in the late 60ï¿½s, R&B through the 70ï¿½s, to country and bluegrass in the 80's and 90's, to grassroots Americana. Travis' great vocal skills have led him to numerous roles in musical productions. His title role in the critically acclaimed musical "Lost Highway: The Music and Legend of Hank Williams" won accolades for his evocation of the country music legend. In addition to his four CDs with Houston Jones, Travis has recorded two albums: "Lost Highway: the Legendary Music of Hank Williams" and "Dance all Night" with Travis Jones and the New Frontier.
GLENN HOUSTON: acoustic and electric guitar, vocals
Glenn has received the “Best Guitarist” award for 2009 from the Northern California Bluegrass Society.
Originally from New Jersey, Glenn's musical influences range from Albert King and Michael Bloomfield to Doc Watson and James Burton. Glenn has been twice nominated for "Best Lead Guitar" by the CCMA, and has also won a Bay Area Music (Bammie) Award as a member of Hearts on Fire. In recent years he has performed live and in the recording studio with Grammy winner Ramblin' Jack Elliott; he co-founded and played lead guitar for the critically acclaimed acoustic group the Waybacks; and he has performed with blues legends Mark Naftalin and Nick Gravenites in tribute to blues great Michael Bloomfield.
CHRIS KEE: standup bass, acoustic guitar, cello, vocals
A classically trained cellist with a degree in ethnomusicology, Chris has performed and recorded with a bewildering array of artists, including Peter Rowan and Norah Jones. He is a long time collaborator with Telecaster wizard Jim Campilongo, playing with Jim in the legendary Ten Gallon Cats and various post-Cats ensembles. With drummer Peter Tucker, he was in the original rhythm section of those practitioners of acoustic mayhem, The Waybacks. In various musical incarnations, he has opened for Jerry Garcia, Lyle Lovett, Los Lobos, Bela Fleck and J.J. Cale, to name but a few. In addition to holding down the bass chair with Houston Jones, Chris can be seen locally with the Magic City Chamber of Commerce and Stephen Yerkey.
PETER TUCKER: percussion, drums, vocals
Originally from Massachusetts, Peter began his music career in the early sixties working with the Boston based band The Monks, and in the East Village with such folkies as Tim Hardin and Richie Havens. Peter went on to join the ground-breaking Boston rock band Guns and Butter, then moved to L.A., played with the band Pacific Gas and Electric and found himself in demand as a session player. In the 80's, Peter helped re-form The Beau Brummels. In recent times, the versatile drummer has continued to play with many Bay Area groups, including most recently The Waybacks, and of course Houston Jones. Peter is a recent recipient of the prestigious California Music Award, as drummer for the Cowlicks. He remains in demand as a studio session player, and has recorded with Warren Zevon, Skunk Baxter and such noted authors as Amy Tan, Stephen King and Norman Mailer.
HENRY SALVIA: Piano, accordion, vocals
Henry Salvia was born a dim-witted but honest child in the Cagolugo section of Detroit. As a child, he threatened his parents with becoming a drummer until he discovered that the piano was larger and heavier, so naturally he began to play it. After a long and undistinguished career performing in luxurious hotels and corner dives throughout the Metropolitan area, he decided to move to Los Angeles to expand his opportunities, and wound up in San Francisco. Several years of playing rock and Top 40 in Detroit was ideal training for his role in the Billy Band , who played both kinds of music (country and western). After being replaced by a pedal steel guitar (though no one in the Billy Band played it, it looked better on stage than Henry), he moved to a roots rock band called the Hurricanes , where he was surprised to discover his wife singing for the band. So, he married her. It seemed the honorable thing to do.
All of this experience playing rock and country made him the logical selection as the piano player for the Johnny Nocturne band, who specialize in R&B, soul, and jazz. Henry's frenetic yet lyrical style (describe by bandleader John Firmin as "a cross between Carmen Cavallero and Cecil Taylor") is featured on several of their albums. Henry has had the honor of working with artists such as Bo Diddley, Rickie Lee Jones, Johnny Colla (of Huey Lewis and the News), Big Jay McNeeley, Jessica Mitford, Tommy Ridgely, Al Kooper, Peter Coyote, Big Lou the Accordion Princess, Jan Fanucci, and (his favorite) Johnny Adams
Travis Jones: Lead vocals, acoustic guitar
Glenn Houston: acoustic and electric guitars, vocals
Chris Kee: Standup bass, acoustic guitar, cello, vocals
Peter Tucker: Percussion, drums, vocals
Henry Salvia: Piano, accordion, vocals
It's worth noting that Chris, Peter and Glenn are all alumni of the Waybacks.
Jericho Road - 2009 - Summerhill Records SR-005
Calico Heart - 2008 - Summerhill Records SR-004
Three Crow Town - 2005 - Summerhill Records SR-003
Hojo Mojo with Chojo - Houston Jones LIVE - 2003 - Summerhill Records SR-002
Houston Jones - 2002 - Summerhill Records SR-001
MP3's at www.houstonjones.com
Gone Boys Gone:
Radio airplay of many of our tracks from at the following stations:
WFCR, 88.5 FM, Amherst, MA
KSOR, 88.3 FM, Ashland, OR
WXOU, 88.3 FM, Auburn Hills, MI
WRKF, 89.3 FM, Baton Rouge, LA
Wellington Access Radio, 783 AM, Belmont, New Zealand
KLFM, 96.5 FM, Bendigo, Australia
KPFA, 94.1 FM, Berkeley, CA
KBSU, 90.3 FM, Boise, ID
WEFT, 90.1 FM, Champaign, IL
WTJU, 91.1 FM, Charlottesville, VA
WNUR, 89.3 FM, Chicago, IL
WLUW, 88.7 FM, Chicago, IL
KSOW, 106.7 FM, Cottage Grove, OR
KKUP, 91.5 FM, Cupertino, CA
KTEP, 88.5 FM, El Paso, TX
CHES, 101.5 FM, Erin, Ontario, Canada
KLCC, 89.7 FM, Eugene, OR
KFSR, 90.7 FM, Fresno, CA
KGLP, 91.7 FM, Gallup, NM
KFOK, 95.1 FM, Georgetown, CA
KEUL, 88.9 FM, Girdwood, AK
CFMU, 93.3 FM, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
WOJB, 88.9 FM, Hayward, WI
WJFF, 90.5 FM, Jeffersonville, NY
WKSU, 89.7 FM, Kent, OH
WMUD, 89.3 FM, Lake Champlain Valley, VT
KPFK, 90.7 FM, Los Angeles, CA
PBS-FM, 106.7 FM, Melbourne, Australia
KYZX, 88.3 FM, Mendocino, CA
KVMR, 89.5 FM, Nevada City, CA
WVUD, 91.3 FM, Newark, DE
WSDL, 90.7 FM, Ocean City, MD
WYEP, 91.3 FM, Pittsburgh, PA
KWMR, 90.5 FM, Point Reyes Station, CA
KBOO, 90.7 FM, Portland, OR
WPRB, 103.3 FM, Princeton, NJ
WOMR, 92.1 FM, Provincetown, MA
CJTR, 91.3 FM, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
KRCB, 91.1 FM, Rohnert Park, CA
KXJZ, 90.9 FM, Sacramento, CA
WSCL, 89.5 FM, Salisbury, MD
KPIG, 1510 AM, San Francisco, CA
KGO, 810 AM, San Francisco, CA
KFOG, 104.5 FM, San Francisco, CA
KALW, 91.7 FM, San Francisco, CA
KCBX, 90.1 FM, San Luis Obispo, CA
KCSB, 91.9 FM, Santa Barbara, CA
KZSC, 88.1 FM, Santa Cruz, CA
KUSP, 88.9 FM, Santa Cruz, CA
KRSH, 95.9 FM, Santa Rosa, CA
KZSU, 90.1 FM, Stanford, CA
WHUS, 91.7 FM, Storrs, CT
KACI, 97.7 FM, The Dalles, OR
KTKE, 101.5 FM, Truckee, CA
CITR, 101.9 FM, Vancouver, BC
WBRS, 100.1 FM, Waltham, MA
WTBQ, 99.1 FM, 1110 AM, Warwick, NY
WETA, 90.9 FM, Washington, DC
KPIG, 107.5 FM, Watsonville, CA
Where the Sea Meets the Sun
Gone Boys Gone
It's the Way You Love Me
Pick up the Snake
Next Time This Time
Ghosts of the Inland Sea
Some Sweet Day
Three Crow Town
Billboard: "Wonderful gem of a band. A rare treat!"
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From Billboard.Com July 12, 2007: Houston Jones: Review by Lesley Beals I stumbled upon this wo...From Billboard.Com July 12, 2007:
Houston Jones: Review by Lesley Beals
I stumbled upon this wonderful gem of a band playing at a summer concert series in, of all places, my local neighborhood park, sponsored by my hometown's Civic Cultural Commission, and tonight we were treated to some truly EXCEPTIONAL music. After a couple of songs I said "Whoa!" ... realizing this was a group I should write a review on. Houston Jones' music was very enjoyable and consisted of some covers, but mostly wonderful original tunes written by band members -- "high octane Americana" was very descriptive of their music.
Travis Jones, with the great voice, [and] very talented musicians... I was so impressed with their music ...these guys weren't just "some local band." Some of their songs had the crowd up and dancing, some brought tears to our eyes. All of their music had the audience tapping our toes (and had me on the cell phone to my boyfriend saying, "You should have come with me!! You would LOVE this!!")
Thank you, Redwood City Civic Cultural Commission and "Houston Jones" for such a quality concert and such a wonderful evening!
Check out Houston Jones' schedule, and go see them if they're going to be playing anywhere near you. And if they're not, order one of their CDs. These guys are a rare treat!!"
Dirty Linen Magazine: "Very highly recommended!"
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"Houston Jones. You might be thinking, "yet another singer/ songwriter," but, boy, would you be wron..."Houston Jones. You might be thinking, "yet another singer/ songwriter," but, boy, would you be wrong. In reality, it's a high-energy quintet of acoustic musicians from the San Francisco Bay area who play an original blend of folk, blues, bluegrass, and gospel. The name comes from members Glenn "Houston" Pomianek (lead guitar) and Travis Jones (lead vocals, guitar), who are joined by Chris Kee (acoustic bass), Peter Tucker (drums), and Wayne "Chojo" Jacques (fiddle, mandolin). Both Pomianek and Kee were founding members of the Waybacks, and Tucker and Jacques also passed through the ranks of that group.
It's apparent from the opening track, "Bedlam Road," that these guys can play. They incorporate so many different influences and make it seem so easy. The songs are powered along by the high-energy drumming of Tucker and supportive, full-bodied arrangements. Jones' lead vocals are one of the group's strong features, with everyone else chipping in backing vocals.
What separates Houston Jones from similar bands, though, is the high quality of the songwriting, with great hooks, melodies, and compelling lyrics. Kee contributes seven original songs, including the gospel sounding "Jump Up, Little Children" and the touching title track about living in a small town. Other standouts include the Jones/Pomianek country/bluegrass-flavored "There She Goes (I'm Almost Gone)" and the menacing "Behind These Walls," about a man sentenced to die for killing his wife and her lover. The instrumental sets are all outstanding, as well, and include a set of traditional reels ("Daley's Reel"), one original that sounds traditional ("Jig Etude"), and one that really does swing in a classical sort of way ("Toccata in Swing [Hold the Aria]")."
"Very highly recommended!"
Folk Alliance: "One of my all-time favorite bands, anywhere."
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"One of my new and all-time favorite bands, anywhere. From the Bay Area, they have a pretty traditio..."One of my new and all-time favorite bands, anywhere. From the Bay Area, they have a pretty traditional
bluegrass instrumentation. Their music is anything but. Twisty little musical change-ups combined with
twisty little lyrical change-ups, atop world-class musicianship and been-there-done-that master-level
These guys are Stone Pros, pushing every boundary possible, and creating something that is wholly unique,
with layers upon layers of subtleties. You can hear bluegrass, delta blues, western, gypsy, swamp, spanish,
rock, jazz, celtic, and God knows what other influences. They are surpassingly good and fun to watch live.
This is the kind of human artistic endeavor that gets you an all-access pass in St. Peter's office. Truly
accessible, intricate, and engaging music. If there were justice in this world, Bill Gates would be their
From Randy Kirchhof, Audio Engineer, North American Folk Alliance Conference, Austin, February 2006:
Music Scene: "On my top 10 until further notice!"
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From Music Scene, February 2006: Houston Jones: Three Crow Town CD Review By Julia Park "Slip ...From Music Scene, February 2006:
Houston Jones: Three Crow Town
CD Review By Julia Park
"Slip the new CD from Houston Jones into the player and indulge yourself in what they call “High Octane
Americana.” No fooling. Three Crow Town is the name of the disk, and it absolutely lives up to the hype.
From the get-go, this vibrant quartet launches into the American rhythm and swing of “Bedlam Road,”
followed by spot-on country in “There She Goes (I’m Almost Gone)” and the romantic “All I Want is You”
(surely destined to become one of the best wedding songs ever). “Things Unseen” with its refrain
about the Prodigal Son, is a clear-eyed vision of personal faith.
Houston Jones offers a stellar blend of acoustic guitar-driven country-Western paeans to the open plains,
jailhouse blues, gospel-inflected done-me-wrongs, and irresistible Celtic string instrumentals in a pastiche
of sound and emotion. These guys sound like they’ve been playing forever, as a part of the American cultural
landscape, and their original songs are like pages pulled from the folk songbook. It just gets better and better.
Nary a song on the CD is without its merits.
Instrumental cuts like “Daley’s Reel” feel distinctly influenced by Bach’s Brandenburg symphonies, while
“Gypsy Hornpipe and March” is a guitar party; “Jig Etude” is right off the boat from Ireland; you expect to
hear feet clattering on the dance floor, Riverdance-style.And the “Toccata in Swing (Hold the Aria)” carries
allusions to Big Band with the snazzy beat, blended with exquisite fingerwork, and a little bit of Gypsy-style
palmas thrown in. Lyrics that include such word-pictures as “Rode the whiskey train to Bedlam and back again,
callin’ out your name…” – with an infectious bluegrass strum and textured harmonies behind it take the listener
directly into an 1880s railroad camp, or is it a lonely drinking man in his own personal hell, infused with longing
in the here and now? “Dear God, I’m your lightning rod – strike me where I stand…one less soul to save.”
It’s songwriting like this that makes you want to give up your day job and become a veritable Lotus Eater with
This rich diversity of sound comes from the musical heritage of these musicians. The band is comprised of
Chris Kee, bass; Peter Tucker, percussionist; Travis Jones, guitar/vocals; and Glenn “Houston” Pomianek.
Kee, a classically trained cellist with a degree in ethnomusicology, is an original member of The Waybacks; his
influence can be clearly heard in the instrumental numbers. Tucker has worked with a broad range of groups
(from the Monks to The Waybacks), as has Jones, whose vocals provide a sure and steady lead through
several emotional territories. Pomianek is a Bammie Award-winning lead guitarist who is also a co-founder of
The Waybacks and Hearts on Fire. Altogether they form a cohesive, organic group of musicians who play to
each other’s strengths; it’s clear in the performance and the production.
... pick up a copy of their CD via their Web site. This is on my top 10 until further notice."
Huey Lewis' Manager: "As good as any..."
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"As good as any singing and picking I've heard in my thirty years in the music business. Do your fri..."As good as any singing and picking I've heard in my thirty years in the music business. Do your friends a big favor, and turn them on to this band!"
- BOB BROWN, OWNER / RANCHO NICASIO AND MANAGER / HUEY LEWIS AND THE NEWS
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"After burning up the Freight stage at their CD release party last September, Houston Jones returns ..."After burning up the Freight stage at their CD release party last September, Houston Jones returns for more! Audience members are advised to bring along personal fire extinguishers as this quartet of musical veterans ignites the evening with their sizzling, eclectic mixture of originals and original interpretations of grassroots Americana music (in their book, that includes everything from Nanci Griffith to Al Green to Jimi Hendrix). Born at (the) Strawberry Music Festival,... Houston Jones features the dazzling mile-a-minute flatpicking of former Waybacks and Hearts on Fire guitarist Glenn Houston and the honky tonk vocals and guitar of Louisiana-born Travis Jones. Add to the equation Robert Trevorrow (formerly of Hearts on Fire) on bass and vocals and Peter Tucker (formerly of the Waybacks) on percussion, and you have a foursome that can comfortably embrace musical styles from bluegrass, country, folk, and gospel to blues, rock, and jazz, and not even break a sweat--unlike their audience."
- FREIGHT AND SALVAGE, BERKELEY
KALW: "Always a favorite; killer acoustic music"
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"Always a favorite here...this killer acoustic music act has unique interpretations of grassroots Am..."Always a favorite here...this killer acoustic music act has unique interpretations of grassroots Americana that will leave you breathless and thoroughly rocked.”
- "WEST COAST LIVE", KALW-FM, NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO
KFOG: "One of our favorite new CDs"
"Three Crow Town is one of our favorite new CDs of 2005" - KFOG-FM San Francisco
KKUP-FM: "My favorite band!"
"My favorite band!" - Jackie Loken, KKUP-FM Santa Clara, CA
Mostly original songs from our most recent 3 CDs, "Jericho Road", "Calico Heart" and "Three Crow Town". We will play as many sets as the venue or promoter wants, and we can tailor our set length to whatever is required, from 30 minutes to 90 minutes.
Typical current set list:
Pick up the Snake
Where the Sea Meets the Sun
Gone Boys Gone
Some Sweet Day