New faces with Route 3

The next time you catch Missouri grassers Route 3, you’ll see a different look.

Bass man Doug Clifton tells us that he and guitarist Jason Jordan have brought two new members into the group. Janice Martin Houk has joined the band on banjo, as has Greg Potter on mandolin.

The band has been playing together less than a decade, but have released two albums highlighting their fine original material, the second with Pinecastle Records. Regular Bluegrass Today readers may recall their single Cartersville, which spent several weeks on our Weekly Airplay chart in 2022.

Speaking jointly, Doug and Jason say…

“We are thrilled to welcome Janice and Greg to Route 3. We have known them for years, and having them join the band is truly like playing with family.

Janice has been named SPBGMA Midwest banjo player of the year nine times, and it’s obvious why. She is one of the most hard driving, solid banjo players we’ve had the privilege of playing with.

Greg is a fantastic mandolin player and a great harmony singer, and brings a wealth of musical knowledge to the band.”

Janice grew up on bluegrass in central Missouri, and was picking the banjo by the time she was 12. She played with her family band, The Bluegrass Martins, for nearly 18 years, along the way touring all over the US, and winning the SPBGMA Band Championship in 2007. In 2018, Janice came off the road to care for her family, but is ready now to be back at it.

Greg didn’t pick up his interest in bluegrass until he was in college, where he quickly made up for lost time, starting with guitar. He and a group of his young friends began playing at festivals all over the midwest, until he was asked to join Southwind on mandolin in 2002. After two albums with them he took the guitar spot with Arlington for the next two years, until he likewise put music aside to be home with his growing family. He was back by 2012 as a founding member of the Missouri River Band, and is now pleased to be part of Route 3.

Doug says that they look forward to seeing everyone once the season gets underway this year.

“Our first show of the year will be on March 2, at the Convoy Of Hope benefit show in Springfield MO. We can’t wait to start playing shows with this configuration, and we hope to see you at a show in 2024!”

You can see their full tour schedule for this spring and summer by visiting Route 3 online.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.