EXIT 314 is Roadhouse Rock . . . If you're down around San Antonio, Texas . . . y'all come hear us

Roots Rock  |  Blues & Jump Blues  |  New Stuff (when they get it right)  |  ev'n a li'l Country

ABOUT EXIT 314

No Grammys, no records (yet), no groupies and no disco. That's EXIT 314. We like to think we're pure, unadulterated and unspoiled by the superficial trappings of success.

Really.

Fleets of neon yellow Ferraris, framed covers of Rolling Stone featuring photos of the band, late nights at Billagio, massive arena stages littered with women's underwear -- OK, we wouldn't say no to any of it, but for now it's all about the music.

Hey, it had better be all about the music cuz just look at our photos.

We're five pretty straight-forward guys who really love to play music. We all grew up paying a little closer attention to the tunes on the radio than most kids; all started playing when we were squirts and at some point, probably before we were teenagers, actually thought seriously that we might one day become "real musicians."

We've each been influenced by a million different styles -- from rock to jazz, Tejano, blues, pop, gospel, country, funk and a bunch of others -- and our individual preferences blend together in a way that comes out sounding a lot like ... EXIT 314.

What is Roadhouse Rock?

Our stew has a lot of roots, classic rock and blues-influenced flavor along with some modern rock, soul and country. In short, a bunch of the stuff that Texans seem to love. We can just about make you cry with a heavy tune like Lie to Me (Jonny Lang), get you singin' along with a soul rocker like Mustang Sally (Wilson Picket), and just about always get various parts of your body movin' with a boot-scooter like Bar Light (Charlie Robison) or a butt-shaker like When the House is Rockin' (Stevie Ray Vaughan) or Call Me the Breeze (Lynyrd Skynyrd).

We call it our roadhouse sound cuz it goes perfectly with an ice cold beer, a dance with your honey and a friendly conversation in any of those classic Texas roadhouses that grace Texas highways. Roadhouses where people like Delbert McClinton, Lyle Lovett, Doyle Bramhall, ZZ Top and Albert Collins engraved their names in Texas music history. Come to think of it, roadhouses just like our home base, Villarreal's Ice House in Helotes; recognized by Conde Nast as one of THE friendliest places on God's earth.

We've all played in other bands before but we've got the best overall chemistry any of us has ever enjoyed in a band. For us, making good music is mostly about having fun while we're doing it ... you'll see us cracking each other up a lot (OK, maybe not in the middle of a blues tune) because we actually love to play together and because we know when we're having a good time, chances are the audience is, too. Like we said, we're pretty simple guys.

We also love to meet the people we're playing for. So next time you come out to catch our show, amble on up to the band and shake our hands. Because a night with EXIT 314 is time to meet some new friends, raise the garage doors, let the breeze blow through and fire up the guitars. Rock on!

Paul Ebert: Bass Guitar, Vocals

Music has been a big part of Paul’s life since a very early age. He picked up the guitar at age 10 but lessons and recitals were not doing it for him. Fortunately, one day he listened closely to the Beatles. From there he was hooked and learned as many of their songs as he could. In high school, he started to play with other musicians and formed the first of many bands that were to come. Things quickly evolved into learning Led Zeppelin, Cream and other blues based rock.

Paul switched over to bass guitar when the band’s bassist quit, and since he was the only one with a job, he purchased a used 4001 Rickenbacker and an Ampeg amp. While born out of necessity, he soon became fascinated with the unlimited freedom this instrument gave. After joining the Air Force, Paul traveled around the world stopping and playing with bands from Germany to upstate New York to the desert south west and playing as many different styles from pop to country to blues. He has studied the bass lines of his major influneces; in particular: Paul McCartney (Beatles), Geddy Lee (Rush), Chris Squire (Yes), and Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers) and blended these melodic styles and aggressive playing techniques into the more traditional walking bass lines of the blues. Mix this in with some soul, and a little bit of Motown and you can expect the unexpected in his playing, adding something unique to any style of music.

By far his favorite type of music to play is the blues. It allows for self expression and inventiveness that always creates a different sound each and every time a song is played. "Never play it the same way twice," seems to be a mantra that Paul embraces as his approach to the bass guitar. Now with Exit 314, he hopes to fit in with a solid and tight rhythm section that even the most casual listener cannot avoid tapping their toes and nodding their heads along with the music. Paul feels this band has a certain chemistry that seldom develops in most projects and he looks forward to making great music for years to come with Exit 314.

Paul plays Fender (Jazz) and Rickenbacker (4001) basses and has always used Ampeg amplification.

George Cobaugh: Keyboards

I told you - he doesn't talk to the webmaster. But, fear not. The clamor of his adoring public is sure to move George to provide us some background about him here, soon.

Eric Whittington: Lead Vocals, Harmonica, Percussion

Eric grew up playing drums but then about 20 years ago a buddy tossed him a $5 harmonica and a skinny little "how to play harmonica book." (Having seen the crazed look on his face every time Eric spun a harp-fueled jump blues record from the T-Birds, Anson Funderburgh or Little Walter.) Eric's first band was an air-Beatles knock-off with our man flailing at a plywood guitar cutout complete with black magic-marker "strings." A dozen years later he and his amigos cranked up a truly awful concoction called The Boys in the Band which was mostly an excuse to drink beer and chase skirts....come to think of it, this is how Eric met his wife. He played drums for The Boogeymen for a few years in San Antonio before hooking up with the best band by far he's ever been with, EXIT 314. He's often seen at gigs with a glassy look in his eye, muttering something like, "How the heck did I end up singing lead in front a band this good?" Good question.

Albert Canchola: Percussion, Vocals

I was born at a very young age at a hospital in San Antonio that boasts of a bar in the basement. Well, that might explain a lot . . . Okay, that’s a good start but now comes the fun part. I have to sift through a lifetime (as if 40 plus makes a lifetime, but that’s beside the point).

I am the seventh of eight children. The next oldest is 5 years older than I so there wasn't much of a chance to choose the radio station or what was playing on the stereo. As a youngster I was bombarded by as many different musical stylings as I had brothers and sisters. But there were some albums that just made me want to sit and listen to them over and over. One of the first albums was Queen’s "A Night at the Opera", then there was Santana’s "Abraxas," and, (who could resist?) The Boss’s "The Wild, the Innocent, and the E Street Shuffle". That’s pretty heady stuff for a second grader, as I look back now. For many nights I would lie in bed with headphones on and listen to those albums over and over. But what really had the largest impression was just watching my brothers and sisters perform with the public school band. So at an early age I realized that playing with the public school band was just a natural step.

Finally, the day came when I had to make "The Choice;" by that I mean which instrument I was going to choose to play. Much of my fifth grade year was spent on "The Choice." I thought about many instruments but decided on the drums because first off I thought by playing the drums it would draw the girls, and I needed all the help that I could get. And second, I would not have to carry a 50 pound instrument all the way home. If I knew then what I know now I might not be sitting here writing a bio as drummer for EXIT 314.

Well . . . after "The Choice" was made I took advantage of one of my brothers, for a change, and began to pick James’ brain for pointers on drumming. He turned out to be a great teacher and I soon began to feel very comfortable with the sticks. During the summer of my seventh grade year I was presented with an opportunity that had the greatest impact on my development. The band director decided (for reasons unknown) that we drummers needed a tutor. After our break, the tutor would take another drummer and me off to show us how to play a drum set. It took only the first two meetings for the other drummer to stop showing up and that allowed those sessions to become one-on-one. During that time, I learned how to set up a drum set and how to play most of the standard beats. All thanks to Mr. Ponce, for setting the foundation that serves me even today.

By the time I was entering the ninth grade my brothers and sisters did something to make up for all the previous torture they had dished out by pitching in to buy me my first drum set. It was a sparkle blue Ludwig double bass drum set with 5 crash cymbals. Soon I began to play Rock with my other brother, Tom.

We'll jump forward a whole bunch of years so that you can finish reading this before morning. As the years roll on I have played in Rock, Tejano, Blues, Jazz, Marching, Symphonic and Country bands. For me, playing drums is something that is a part of my life and will be as long as I live. Playing music has brought me some of the greatest memories in my life. For instance, I remember during my sophomore year watching about 15,000 screaming fans get out of their seats to cheer on the John Jay Mighty Marching Band. Another moment was when we took Sonny and Tejano Fire out to La Semana, a great Fiesta event here in San Antonio, where the promoters were putting a Tejano only line up. We were the first band to play and we were almost rained out. But as the storm passed and as the band was finishing our set there was a huge flash of lightning that just punctuated what was a great honor.

I have been blessed with great opportunities and some natural talent for playing the drums. I enjoy giving out great energy when I play the drums because it comes back when you hear the audience's applause. That’s something that not very many people in the world can do and I really love givin’ it all. So I hope you enjoy coming out to see EXIT 314 knowing that the band will be givin’ it all.

Bruce Pipkin: Lead Guitar, Vocals

I grew up around music; my dad was a musician in the San Antonio Symphony, so I learned to appreciate music very early on. But I soon learned I loved guitar music. When my older sisters would play their 45 records, I would dance around pretending to play guitar. So, my folks gave me my first guitar for Christmas at age 11, a Sears Kingston. To me, it was awesome, and it wasn't long before I was in a band. The first songs I ever played live – in front of an audience of my fellow 6th graders- were "Louie Louie" and "Wipe Out."

Through most of my life I’ve been in bands of one kind or another, Rock, Heavy Metal (head banging long hair and all), Country, and Blues. But I think Blues has always been my favorite; it allows a guitarist to really express himself. I have a lot of favorite players among the blues greats like Eric Clapton, Mike Bloomfield, Jeff Beck, and the late Duane Allman and Stevie Ray Vaughan. There are some great new players keeping power blues alive that I love to listen to, like Joe Bonamassa, Gary Moore, and Jonny Lang.

I’ve played the Gibson Les Paul for quite some time now. When a friend of mine sold me his dad's dusty old Les Paul, I fell in love with its warm sound and long sustain characteristics immediately. I stuck with them ever since. It really boggles my mind to see how much they cost now.

EXIT 314 is an awesome bunch of guys that love playing music as much as I do, and are a blast to work with. We've played just about every kind of venue from juke joints to country clubs, and can cook up just about any kind of music. But the most important thing is that we always have a great time doing it!

Rick Moyer: Sound and Lighting Engineer

Rick runs the mixing console for Exit 314 and grew up with music in the house. His mom, who was born and raised in Germany, always had music playing; everything from Beethoven and Mozart to Harry Bellefonte calypsos. He also played drums and percussion in high school at John Jay, in San Antonio.

With an early interest in electronics, he had a First Class FCC license and was a radio broadcast announcer at age twenty for the former KITY FM station, in S.A. In 1977 he began a 30 year career with the North East I.S.D. maintenance department in the electronics shop, with audio systems as a specialty.

In the past 25 years he has run sound for six different San Antonio bands, five of which also included our guitar ace Bruce Pipkin. The sixth band, Ground Zero, was about 15 years ago and included local guitar legend Dave Williams.

Both Bruce and Dave honed their guitar skills along with other musicians (notably the Canchola boys) during the many jam and recording sessions at Rick's house in the 1980's.

Rick also volunteers his time running the sound mix for the 10 piece Praise Team during the Contemporary Service at John Calvin Presbyterian Church, in Windcrest.