Who are The Texas K.G.B.?
From the North Georgia mountains, to finding a home for their sound in the Live Music Capital of the World, The Texas K.G.B. (Kelly Green Band) explores a diverse spectrum of passionate original music and an absolutely electrifying performance, drawing inspiration from genres such as Americana, classic rock, country, blues, and even a touch of funk. The band’s unique sound is captivating, but their live show is unforgettable.
The band is a quartet made up of Kelly Green (lead and slide guitar/vocals), Jace Cradle (rhythm guitar/lead vocals), Kody Lee (drums/saxophone/vocals), and Violet Lea (bass/vocals). Brother and sister Kelly and Kody, began playing instruments following in the footsteps of their father, B.B. Lee, when they were just six years old. B.B. is an amazing musician who is currently playing guitar and touring with “Outlaw Country Legend” David Allen Coe. A mentor to his children, he helped them develop their skills and encouraged them to pursue music professionally.
Throughout their adolescence, Kelly and Kody played in various bands and nourished their musical connection It wasn’t until their father hosted an open mic night when he had a month off from touring that they met Jace. He was one of the first people to sign up for the open mic, and his talent and sound were undeniable. Jace started playing music when he was 21 after finding an abandoned guitar in Saddam’s Palace while serving in Iraq. When he came back to the United States, he started playing music full time. Jace and B.B. ended up starting a band, which Kelly joined shortly after her twenty-first birthday. They toured non-stop for a year before arriving in Austin in 2012 during SXSW where they experienced the energy that vibrates throughout the local music scene. The band decided to go their separate ways, and Jace and Kelly chose to stay in Austin where they could continue to develop their large sound – a Texas-sized sound.
After taking up residence in Austin, Jace and Kelly were joined by Kody, who had just received his bachelor’s degree in music performance with a minor in education. Over the next few years, they played as a trio, with fill-in bass players, until they began their search for an official bassist and fourth band member. They ended up finding Violet Lea through Craigslist when they jokingly posted an ad for a bass player. Jace joked that they were “being catfished” because there was no way that someone as beautiful and talented as Violet would answer an ad on Craigslist. Just like music runs through the veins of the other band members, Violet started playing music very young as well. When she was around four years old, she picked up a Yamaha keytar, on which she learned the solo for Wham!’s “Last Christmas” backward and forwards. After a few rehearsals, it became apparent that Violet was the missing link to their quartet. She joined the band and they hit the road, touring the country and establishing themselves as The Texas K.G.B.
Over the course of their career as The Texas K.G.B., the band has recorded and released three albums, “Captain Americana” (2014), “Songs in the Key of Pain: Part 1” (2016), and “Welcome Home” (2017). “Songs in the Key of Pain: Part 1” landed them a nomination for IMEA’s “Americana Band of the Year” and “Americana Group of the Year.” They have played in a variety of notable venues and shared the stage with top-notch musicians such as Kevin Fowler, Billy Joe Shaver, Vallejo, Joe Robinson, Chris Duarte, Paula Nelson, Walt Wilkins, Carolyn Wonderland, and Jackie Venson to name a few. The band was also invited to play the first song at Willie Nelson’s Fourth of July Picnic in Austin this past year.
Their latest project, “Welcome Home”, was recorded at 512 Studios with the help of producer Omar Vallejo and released November 2017. It’s an album that speaks to the journey of life, the good and bad times, the ups and downs of the human experience. Every member of the band contributed to the songwriting on the album, which serves as a testament to the very personal nature of their music. As a whole, the album tells a story as it progresses through the track list while the catchy melody pulls listeners in and implores them to play the record from start to finish.