HOUSTON JONES is a California based high octane Americana quintet. Formed in 2001, the band performs a mostly original repertoire that ranges from bluegrass and folk to blues and gospel. The band features Glenn Houston (lead guitar), Travis Jones (lead vocal, acoustic guitar), Henry Salvia (keyboard, accordion), Chris Kee (standup bass, cello, acoustic guitar), and Peter Tucker (drums).
“A wonderful gem of a band…truly exceptional music…wonderful original tunes…some brought tears to our eyes. These guys are a rare treat!” – Billboard.com "No one delivers the goods quite like Houston Jones....Houston Jones remains one of the West Coast's most talented and entertaining bands." - Dirty Linen Magazine.
It's worth noting that Chris, Peter and Glenn are all alumni of The Waybacks. The band was voted as “best discovery” and Travis Jones voted as “best vocalist” at the Strawberry Music Festival. Glenn has been given the award "Best Guitarist” for 2009 by the Northern California Bluegrass Society.
Houston Jones has recorded five CDs for the Summerhill label. The band is the subject of a six page feature article in the January/February 2010 issue of Dirty Linen magazine, the magazine dedicated to folk and world music.
Travis Jones lead vocals, guitar
Travis’ musical background and history reads like a William Faulkner novel. Travis began singing gospel music at age four with his mother Lottie Mae Adams, a blues singer who recorded several discs on Paula Records. Travis became known not only for his vocal abilities but also for his telling of old testament bible stories at revivals and tent meetings all across the south. He started his first group at sixteen – a Paul Revere and the Raiders tribute band. The Vietnam War brought an obvious set of challenges to Travis’ musical career. After the war ended, he was stationed in Europe and was hired as a rhythm guitarist for the soul and funk band Smoke, which eventually became the back up band for the famous R&B group The Manhattans (“Let’s Just Kiss and Say Goodbye”). Upon leaving the armed forces, Europe, and Smoke, Travis made his way to Northern California where he has resided since 1979.
During his time in California, he has performed with a wide array of artists, bands, and theatre companies. He’s shared the stage with artists ranging from Asleep at the Wheel to Waylon Jennings – from Night Ranger to the Doobie Brothers. He has recorded dozens of tracks for various artists, as well as releasing two self titled albums – “Lost Highway, The Legendary Music of Hank Williams” and “Dance All Night” – along with four CD releases with Houston Jones.
Glenn Houston lead guitar, background vocals
Glenn has received the “Best Guitarist” award for 2009 from the Northern California Bluegrass Society. Originally from New Jersey, Glenn’s guitarist influences range from Albert King and Michael Bloomfield to Doc Watson and James Burton. These influences show in his well-balanced mastery of both acoustic and electric guitar.
Glenn has been twice nominated for “Best Lead Guitar” by the CCMA, and has also won a Bay Area Music (Bammie) Award as a founding member of Hearts on Fire. Over the years, Glenn has shared billing with such luminaries as Emmylou Harris, Merle Haggard, the Tubes, the David Grisman Quintet, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Bela Fleck, Tim O’Brien, Hank Williams Jr., Steve Earle, John Hartford, Earl Scruggs, Doc Watson, Willie Nelson, and Waylon Jennings.
Glenn’s classical music background includes choral vocal performances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic (Zubin Mehta conducting, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, at Carnegie Hall and the United Nations General Assembly [the U.N.’s 25th anniversary celebration]), and the Boston Symphony (Erich Leinsdorf conducting, Brahms’ Requiem, at Carnegie Hall).
In recent years he has performed and recorded 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 bass, guitar, cello, background vocals
A classically trained cellist with a degree in ethnomusicology, Chris has performed and recorded with a bewildering array of artists. He has appeared many times with Peter Rowan as a conscript in Peter’s Free Mexican Air Force.
He has been a hired gun for, among others, Jim Lauderdale and Buddy Miller, including a festival performance with Buddy, Emmy Lou Harris, Patty Griffin and Shawn Colvin.
He is also 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 The Waybacks.
Peter Tucker percussion, background 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 keyboards, 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 (described 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.