John Houx
Gig Seeker Pro

John Houx


Band Pop


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"EU Jacksonville (03/31/2009)"

Freak-folk outfit Vetiver stopped by Cafe Eleven on March 23 to play a show with Larkin Grimm and John Houx. Fresh off of their appearance at the SXSW Music and Media Conference in Austin, TX, St. Augustine was one of only two stops the group made in Florida.

Baby-faced John Houx kicked off the evening with his brand new green acoustic guitar and bare feet playing Dylan-esque folk ditties. Hailing from Northern California via New York City, this old soul wowed the crowd with his timeless songs about everything from poison apples to the woes of living in this generation. Drawing poignant contrasts between the socially-conscious hippies of the 1960s and the fashionably unaware hipsters of today, Houx lamented that these days, "it's cooler not to care." Listening to him strum his guitar and tell the stories behind his music was the perfect start to what would be an amazing night of great music...
- Jack Diablo

"UK Record Review (June 2009)"

From Whisperin' & Hollerin' (UK)

John Houx's Green Period
Rating: 8/10

Recorded in one evening, John Houx’s debut album is a solid, stripped down country record, full of mid-western charm and loneliness. Various approaches to country are on display on this record, and the ideas are simple but effective.

‘Right Together, Left Alone’ sounds very much like Cat Stevens, with the simple piano part playing alongside the drunken lament of the vocals. ‘Apple On A Table, Green’ is a livelier acoustic number, very much in the vein of traditional country music. It sounds like an old standard that Jack White would be inclined to stick in the middle of a song when playing live.

In comparison, ‘Born in 1984’ is more of a narrative effort, talking a little about his childhood to the guitar-hops that Johnny Cash made a career out of. Thoughts of Neutral Milk Hotel crop up at this time – it’s not quite the same, but they definitely share the same spirit. This is quickly followed by the sombre then speedy suicide epic ‘Nature’s Boy,’ which is the epitome of strong story-telling, like when the Stereophonics were only interested in the seedy underbelly of a small Welsh village.

It shows that music really doesn’t need to be a big budget affair to make an impact. The term ‘rustic charm’ can often be said with a sneer, but for this album it adds something to it. The rough edges haven’t been polished away, and it feels like a spontaneous one take affair, and you can imagine the live show from what you hear here. It feels intimate in its simplicity.

‘Fight No More Forever’ is another traditional sounding effort that you could mistake for an old hymn if you didn’t listen closely. It’s a sweet song compared to some of the other efforts which are more grim in tone. Various moods are depicted on the album, which is more than enough to keep your attention throughout. It’s not endless pessimism that eventually drags you down, nor is it saccharine optimism. From these songs along, he seems like a personable kind of bloke.

‘John Houx’s Cigaret Rag’ sounds like Johnny Cash’s ‘A Boy Named Sue,’ and you’re firmly booted out of 2009 and back in time as far as you’d like to go. It’s not that this is anything new, but it is done very well. The lyrics are perhaps the best on the album, and the harmonica makes a welcome contribution. ‘Bird, Bird, Bird’ is gentle but searing, like an understated Jeff Buckley if I’m being kind.

By no means genre-busting, this is an enjoyable excursion through country music, reminiscent of the spirit of Johnny Cash at times, at others like the early years of The Mountain Goats. Americana can rejoice, for they have found themselves a new potential hero in John Houx.
author: James Higgerson - James Higgerson

"WMBR Cambridge - (05/15/2008)"

Like a man wandering through time as he's wandered from West Coast to East, John exists simultaneously in the NYC antifolk scene of the Sidewalk Cafe and the 60s Greenwich Village folk scene of Bleecker Street. If Langhorne Slim has a fire in his belly, then John eats at the same lunch counter. And more to the point, if Woody Guthrie had a cell phone, he would have had John on speed dial. This is that dreaded four-letter word, folk, that's still alive and revelatory.
- Nadav Carmel, Phoning It In

"St. Augustine News (03/30/2009)"

From the Dreamland of Parplar to the Mountains of Georgia

...The lineup began with John Houx (pronounced “who”, which first led me to believe he was the love child of one of the roadies from The Whos’ farewell tour). His first song, “Born in 1984” was the catalyst for my night. This set things into perspective with John. My older brother was born in ‘84 – two short years ahead of me - and when he left, it was for the army. Instead John does so for the Big Apple, scrubbing his old songs and opening a new journal.

We went to high school in the same timespan for crying out loud! He felt like my equal, my contemporary, my kin. He set himself apart from most folk fingerpickers behind the mic, in his beat up fedora jacket, smiling at me, gave a flash of the cover of Nashville skyline. His pink complexion and green guitar made a subtle contrast on stage, and the things he sung were here/now and songs of the present times. He felt like Bob Dylan on stage, or the silly comic nature of early Arlo Guthrie, but there was something in his content that kept him here, the references to computers, cell phones, or current events, just present American culture as a whole, made him feel like the voice of my generation, not an earlier era.

Next “Bird, Bird, Bird” turned the archetypes up a notch. It was like watching the dove set free in the peace rally in DC in the 60s, or a flock of ravens on an electric wire. The next song he played was a comic tune about quitting tobacco, “what am I going to do to keep my head, fingers, and mouth busy? Gunna have to get a bigger bed.” Felt like “Bob Dylan’s Blues.” Made us all crack up, the eminent jester on stage.

Closing with “Won’t Be A-finding Her There” gave the feeling of a Johnny Cash ballad (pre-June Carter), but sung in the spirit of Woody Guthrie with a slide on his finger. I went out for a cig and was awake enough to meet him. He felt more like a traveling painter than a contemporary musician in person. After a few words and an empty beer, it was time to introduce the second act... - V. Amadeus Hill

"Urban Folk (02/2008)"

Listing for Winter Antifolk Festival
Thursday, February 21:

John Houx - After rambling across the country, he's finally bought new shoes, but is more comfortable performing barefoot. Steeped in American folk and followed by comparisons to Dylan and Guthrie, Houx is what Dylan would be today if he'd retained his youth. The best new songwriter on the scene in a long time. - Bernard King

"Netherlands Record Review"

He presents himself as the son of a California rancher and cowboy, what adventure ended up wandering around in New York and immediately began to write folky songs. Moreover, the adolescent exudes the swagger of a courageous Dylan at the beginning of his career. "I'll go exploring every desert and kingdom I can see." John's voice seems indeed that of the songsmith. Versatility, bitter humor, closer to and spirit are the other assets. In the eleven songs on this debut album carries the outsider as the brainchild of Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Tim Buckley and Ewan MacColl. The Hole Digger, a traditional song of Lead Belly may have. Rightly so, that in the New York singer-songwriter scene as the new revelation is achieved. Which instrument he has in his hands, he can play there. If you hear on his debut album that he recorded in one night both piano, harmonica and, of course, the acoustic guitar he vigorously responding. His passionate voice gives depth to his lyrics, alternately lyrical and rebellious. "Fight No More Forever" is an anti-war song. "Bird, Bird, Bird" verklankt he unusally gentle and beautiful "Right Together Left Alone" with piano accompaniement by BEROERT retained wail. The multi-layered "Apple On A Table, Green" with the potential of a future classic, reveal the poet painter in him. With its rich treasure song toured John Houx now America and Europe and he came on to Alela Diane and the Carolina Chocolate Drops. His folky songs, sometimes semi-autobiographical, blasting a fresh innocence that is rare in this time when the predominance of commerce receives. All the more reason for curiosity or any club manager class of this honest folk singer recognize him at the club Friday podium space "and singing alone or as a feather to destination unknown."


Hij presenteert zich als de zoon van een Californische rancher en cowboy, belandde na wat avontuurlijk rondzwerven in New York en begon direct folky liedjes te schrijven. Bovendien straalt de adolescent de overmoedige branie uit van een Dylan aan het begin van diens carrière. ‘I'll go exploring every desert and kingdom I can see’. John’s stem lijkt trouwens op die van de songsmid. Veelzijdigheid, wrange humor, dichterlijkheid en spirit zijn de andere troeven. In de elf songs op dit debuutalbum ontplooit de outsider zich als het geesteskind van Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Tim Buckley en Ewan McColl. De ‘Hole Digger’ song zou een traditional van Leadbelly kunnen zijn. Terecht dus dat hij in de New Yorkse singer-songwriterscène als de nieuwe revelatie wordt binnengehaald. Welk instrument hij ook in zijn handen krijgt, hij kan er op spelen. Zo hoor je op zijn debuutalbum, dat hij in één nacht opnam, zowel piano, harmonica en uiteraard ook de akoestische gitaar die hij krachtig aanslaat. Zijn gepassioneerde stem geeft diepte aan zijn songteksten, afwisselend lyrisch en rebels. ‘Fight No More Forever’ is een antioorlog song. ‘Bird, Bird, Bird’ verklankt hij ongewoon teder en het bloedmooie ‘Right Together, Left Alone’ met pianobegeleiding beroert door de ingehouden weeklacht. Het meergelaagde ‘Apple On A Table, Green’, met het potentieel van een toekomstige klassieker, reveleert de dichterschilder in hem. Met zijn rijke songschat toerde John Houx inmiddels door Amerika en Europa en hij trad op met o.m. Alela Diane en de Carolina Chocolate Drops. Zijn folky songs, soms semi-autobiografisch, stralen een frisse onschuld uit die zeldzaam wordt in deze tijd waarin commercie het overwicht krijgt. Reden temeer om nieuwsgierig te zijn of een of andere clubuitbater de klasse van deze integere folkzanger herkent en hem op het clubpodium vrij ruimte geeft ‘alone and singing’ of ‘as a feather to destination unknown’.

Marcie - RootsTime (Netherlands)


John Houx's Green Period (Self-Released LP, 2009)
John Houx's Haikus (Homemade EP, 2008)

Current Radio Tracks: "Bird, Bird, Bird" ; "Apple On A Table, Green"



The vegan son of a cowboy, John Houx is named for his great-great, the notorious robber of Wells Fargo stagecoaches. Shooting guns at two years old and teaching himself to read "Ferdinand The Bull" at three, he has become a sort of calm and gentle Outlaw Elf or Little Prince kicking hard against the pricks of the world; as Larkin Grimm calls him, "Marlon Brando meets Little Boy Blue."

John left the ranch in high school to tour with arena rock groups and MTV stars, then abruptly gave up his possessions to travel America as a poet hobo, learning songs and instruments. In 2007 he hitched to Manhattan with no one to call and no place to stay in from the snow, and began performing on the Antifolk circuit, quickly landing on the cover of the scene magazine. Two years later, he's since played 46 states and half of Europe with Akron/Family, Larkin Grimm, Vetiver, The Mountain Goats, Alela Diane, Great Lake Swimmers, Fiery Furnaces, Sleepy Sun, etc. His self-released full-length debut, JOHN HOUX'S GREEN PERIOD, was recorded in one night and released in June 2009, and receives national radio play, including New York's prestigious WNYC.