Houston Music

5 Cool & Cheap Weekenders: Umbrella Man, Robert Cray, Etc.

A short one this week, for the long holiday weekend. But worthwhile.

Outside-the-Loop gig of the weekend: The Mighty Orq at Main Street Crossing in Tomball tonight at 8 p.m.. Ask Orq about the band's European tour last month.

Soulful Space City spokesman Nick Gaitan celebrates the release of his band Umbrella Man's second album, Bridges and Bayous, tonight at the Continental Club with San Antonio special guests Los Nahuatlatos. Little Joe Washington plays the club's free happy hour to boot. Gaitan tacks on a Cactus Music in-store Saturday at 3 p.m.; read more with him in our Q&A in this week's print issue.

If you love some Motown, and who doesn't, head down to Miller Outdoor Theatre at 8:15 p.m. Tonight through Sunday for "Dancin In the Street: Motown & More." Besides the songs of Smokey, Marvin, Martha, the Four Tops, the Temptations and the Supremes, and more, there will be special tributes to Etta James, Whitney Houston, Ashford & Simpson and Soul Train's Don Cornelius. Free.

Local avant-jazz institution the Free Radicals play the brand-new downtown music venue/food-truck campground Phul Court (1311 Leeland at Austin). Free show.

The cool-as-a-cucumber Robert Cray, one of the best bluesmen around, plays House of Blues Saturday night. Cray, who has won four Grammys including for 1986's Strong Persuader, hasn't released an album since 2009's This Time.

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Chris Gray has been Music Editor for the Houston Press since 2008. He is the proud father of a Beatles-loving toddler named Oliver.
Contact: Chris Gray