The Suspects are experimenters, purveyors, and enthusiasts. No one else attempts the things that The Suspects accomplish with mixing ska, rock, reggae, and dub. For more than twenty years, The Suspects many members have blended all the musical things that they love in a huge, Houston-sized pot. The briny results of this effort are not easily named; is it strictly ska? Is it regular old reggae? Or, is it something new that you’ve never heard before? It doesn’t matter what you call it, as long as it makes you happy.

Charlie Esparza and Bill Grady found each other in early 1993 through the bulletin board at the old Westheimer location of Houston’s Sound Exchange records. The other members of the band were found slowly but surely: Alan Hernandez worked with Bill, and Joe Cote had been Bill’s co-worker at a previous job. Andy Hocker, Claudio DePujadas, and Chris Kendrick all answered fliers posted at Sound Exchange. Thomas Escalante was originally a partner in the record label that released the first two Suspects singles, plus he worked with Bill and Alan at the same time.Ryan Gabbart was barely old enough to drive when he joined the band. Steve Ruth had been a long-time fan of The Suspects when he heard Bill jokingly ask a Fitzgerald’s crowd if, “anybody knew any horn players”. Jason Davis and Jay Brooks were both good friends and members of Middlefinger.

Over nine years, we released four cds, toured the mid-west, and made a lot of friends. The Suspects played their “last show” on Friday August 23rd, 2002 at Fitzgeralds with Middlefinger, Magnetic IV, and Next2Nothing.

Even though most people thought it would never happen, The Suspects played two reunion shows after their breakup: January 19, 2007 and December 23, 2007… both at the Continental Club in Houston, Texas. After thinking about it for a few months, The Suspects decided you can’t ignore a good thing and announced their return to a full-time schedule in the summer of 2008. Thomas Escalante elected to leave the band in January 2015, and original singer Chris Kendrick was asked to rejoin in March.


The Suspects are:

  • Bill Grady – guitar
  • Alan Hernandez – guitar
  • Chris Kendrick – vocals
  • Steve Ruth – bass
  • David Solis – trombone
  • Aaron Koerner – fluegelhorn & trumpet
  • Sean Heyl – drums
  • Jose Vazquez – keyboards

 

A Historical View Of The Suspects

This list is only accurate in the most general way… dates are approximate, and it does not reflect situations where old horn players and their replacements were sharing the stage at the same time or the odd periods when Chuy and Joe took time off from regular gigging due to work-related travel. New members are highlighted in green and exiting members are highlighted in red.

The Suspects v1.0 (1993 to mid-1994)

  • Chris Kendrick – vocals
  • Bill Grady – guitar
  • Alan Hernandez – guitar
  • Andy Hocker – alto sax
  • Joe Cote – keys
  • Charlie Esparza – bass
  • Claudio Depujadas – drums

The Suspects v1.1 (mid-1994 to mid-1995)

  • Chris Kendrick – vocals
  • Bill Grady – guitar
  • Alan Hernandez – guitar
  • Andy Hocker – alto sax
  • Chuy Terrazas – tenor sax
  • Hunter Close – trombone
  • Joe Cote – keys
  • Charlie Esparza – bass
  • Claudio Depujadas – drums

The Suspects v1.2 (mid-to-late 1995)

  • Chris Kendrick – vocals
  • Bill Grady – guitar
  • Alan Hernandez – guitar
  • Chuy Terrazas – tenor sax
  • Hunter Close – trombone
  • Joe Cote – keys
  • Charlie Esparza – bass
  • Claudio Depujadas – drums
  • (Andy Hocker left the band)

The Suspects v2.0 (early 1996 to mid-1998)

  • Thomas Escalante – vocals
  • Bill Grady – guitar
  • Alan Hernandez – guitar
  • Chuy Terrazas – tenor sax
  • Sam Gowdy – sax
  • Hunter Close – trombone
  • Joe Cote – keys
  • Charlie Esparza – bass
  • Claudio Depujadas – drums
  • (Chris Kendrick left the band)

The Suspects v2.1 (mid-1998 to early 1999)

  • Thomas Escalante – vocals
  • Bill Grady – guitar
  • Alan Hernandez – guitar
  • Chuy Terrazas – tenor sax
  • Ryan Gabbart – trombone
  • Steve Ruth – trumpet
  • Joe Cote – keys
  • Aaron Underwood – bass
  • Claudio Depujadas – drums
  • (Hunter Close, Sam Gowdy, and Charlie Esparza left the band)

The Suspects v3.0 (early 1999 to mid-2002)

  • Thomas Escalante – vocals
  • Bill Grady – guitar
  • Alan Hernandez – guitar
  • Chuy Terrazas – tenor sax
  • Ryan Gabbart – trombone
  • Steve Ruth – trumpet
  • Joe Cote – keys
  • Aaron Koerner – fluegelhorn
  • Jason Davis – bass
  • Claudio Depujadas – drums
  • (Aaron Underwood left the band)

The Suspects v3.1 (mid-2002)

  • Thomas Escalante – vocals
  • Bill Grady – guitar
  • Alan Hernandez – guitar
  • Chuy Terrazas – tenor sax
  • Ryan Gabbart – trombone
  • Steve Ruth – trumpet
  • Joe Cote – keys
  • Jay Brooks – bass
  • Claudio Depujadas – drums
  • Jason Davis left the band

The Suspects v3.2 (the “last show” line up)

  • Thomas Escalante – vocals
  • Chris Kendrick – vocals
  • Bill Grady – guitar
  • Alan Hernandez – guitar
  • Andy Hocker – alto sax
  • Chuy Terrazas – tenor sax
  • Hunter Close – trombone
  • Ryan Gabbart – trombone
  • Steve Ruth – trumpet
  • Aaron Koerner – fluegelhorn
  • Joe Cote – keys
  • Claudio Depujadas – drums
  • Jason Davis – bass
  • Charlie Esparza – bass

The Suspects v4.0 (the reunion show #1 line up)

  • Thomas Escalante – vocals
  • Chris Kendrick – vocals
  • Bill Grady – guitar
  • Alan Hernandez – guitar
  • Andy Hocker – alto sax
  • Chuy Terrazas – tenor sax
  • Ryan Gabbart – trombone
  • Steve Ruth – trumpet
  • Aaron Koerner – fluegelhorn
  • Joe Cote – keys
  • David Beebe- drums
  • Jay Brooks – bass
  • Charlie Esparza – bass

The Suspects v4.1 (the reunion show #2 line up)

  • Thomas Escalante – vocals
  • Bill Grady – guitar
  • Alan Hernandez – guitar
  • Chuy Terrazas – tenor sax
  • Ryan Gabbart – trombone
  • Steve Ruth – trumpet
  • Aaron Koerner – fluegelhorn
  • Joe Cote – keys
  • Claudio Depujadas – drums
  • Jay Brooks – bass
  • Charlie Esparza – bass

The Suspects 4.2 (2008-2009)

  • Bill Grady – guitar
  • Alan Hernandez – guitar
  • Tomas Escalante – vocals
  • Steve Ruth – trumpet
  • Ryan Gabbart – trombone
  • Chuy Terrazas – sax
  • Aaron Koerner – fluegelhorn
  • Jay Brooks – bass
  • Andy Salmon – drums

The Suspects 4.3 (2009-2011)

  • Bill Grady – guitar
  • Alan Hernandez – guitar
  • Tomas Escalante – vocals
  • Steve Ruth – trumpet/bass
  • Chuy Terrazas – sax
  • Aaron Koerner – fluegelhorn
  • Jay Brooks – bass
  • Andy Salmon – drums
  • Tandy Lofland – sax
  • Ryan Gabbart left the band

The Suspects 4.4 (Dec 2011 – May 2012)

  • Bill Grady – guitar
  • Alan Hernandez – guitar
  • Tomas Escalante – vocals
  • Steve Ruth – trumpet/bass
  • Chuy Terrazas – sax
  • Aaron Koerner – fluegelhorn & trumpet
  • Andy Salmon – drums
  • Tandy Lofland left the band
  • Jay Brooks left the band

The Suspects 4.5 (June 2013 – December 2013)

  • Bill Grady – guitar
  • Alan Hernandez – guitar
  • Tomas Escalante – vocals
  • Steve Ruth – bass
  • Chuy Terrazas – sax
  • Aaron Koerner – fluegelhorn & trumpet
  • Andy Salmon – drums
  • Hunter Close rejoins the band for a few shows
  • Jose Vazquez – keyboards

The Suspects 4.6 (December 2013 – October 2014)

  • Bill Grady – guitar
  • Alan Hernandez – guitar
  • Tomas Escalante – vocals
  • Steve Ruth – bass
  • Chuy Terrazas – sax
  • Aaron Koerner – fluegelhorn & trumpet
  • Sean Heyl – drums
  • Hunter Close – trombone
  • Jose Vazquez – keyboard
  • Andy Salmon leaves the band

The Suspects 5.0 (April 2015 – December 2015)

  • Bill Grady – guitar
  • Alan Hernandez – guitar
  • Chris Kendrick – vocals
  • Steve Ruth – bass
  • Aaron Koerner – fluegelhorn & trumpet
  • Sean Heyl – drums
  • David Solis – trombone
  • Matt Hotez – trombone
  • Jose Vazquez – keyboard
  • Thomas Escalante leaves the band
  • Chuy Terrazas leaves the band He thought about it, and changed his mind!

The Suspects 5.1 (December 2015 – September 2016)

  • Bill Grady – guitar
  • Alan Hernandez – guitar
  • Chris Kendrick – vocals
  • Steve Ruth – bass
  • Aaron Koerner – fluegelhorn & trumpet
  • Sean Heyl – drums
  • David Solis – trombone
  • Jose Vazquez – keyboard
  • Chuy Terrazas – tenor sax
  • Matt Hotez leaves the band

The Suspects 5.2 (September 2016 – present)

  • Bill Grady – guitar
  • Alan Hernandez – guitar
  • Chris Kendrick – vocals
  • Steve Ruth – bass
  • Aaron Koerner – fluegelhorn & trumpet
  • Sean Heyl – drums
  • David Solis – trombone
  • Jose Vazquez – keyboard
  • Chuy Terrazas leaves the band (for the 3rd time)