Discovery Green Lands Roots-Rock Royalty For Free Fall Concerts

A return engagement from Tex-Mex supergroup the Texas Tornados, reunited (after a fashion) roots-rock polymaths NRBQ - now featuring a former Houstonian on drums - and the honky-tonk hero who told Tiger Airways a thing or two highlight Discovery Green's fall Capitol One Concert Series.

Locals Chase Hamblin, Runaway Sun, Nick Gaitan & the Umbrella Man and the Octanes are also booked for the free Thursday-night hootenannies that begin September 8. "Fans love the shows and bands love performing in such a beautiful venue," says Concert Series point man Allen Hill.

True, the Houston Press is now a co-sponsor of the series, but Rocks Off would be just as excited about the lineup if we weren't. See why below.

September 8: Lake Charles-born squeezer Leroy Thomas and his band the Zydeco Roadrunners pump it up. This gig will be much kinder to your pocketbook than the Roadrunners' most frequent haunt, the Coushatta casino in Kinder, La.

September 15: Austin blues-guitar young gun Gary Clark Jr. pairs up with local psych-pop heartthrob Chase Hamblin.

September 22: Ricky Broussard's latter-day Crickets Two Hoots & a Holler, who wrecked Under the Volcano last month, bring their countrified power-pop outdoors. Smoove H-Town blues-rockers Runaway Sun open.

September 29: Brand-new airline customer-service advocate Dale Watson, whose recent musical riposte to Singapore's Tiger Airways made international headlines and is now a hit on satellite radio - and, more importantly, finally got Watson his money back - channels Johnny, Lefty and Merle. Folk singer Mary McBride, last seen in Houston on her tour of battered-women's shelters last year, opens.

October 6: The one and only Texas Tornadoes return after last year's rapturously received Disco Green show. Houston's Nick Gaitan & the Umbrella Man, inching closer to that second album, have the opening honors.

October 13: The staggeringly prolific but recently dormant NRBQ returns to Houston for the first time in ages. Releasing dozens of albums since forming in 1967, NRBQ has been covered by everyone from She & Him and Yo La Tengo to Dave Edmunds and Bonnie Raitt. Earlier this year, NRBQ co-founder, keyboardist, sole remaining original member and throat cancer survivor Terry Adams announced that with the release of new album Keep This Love Goin', his Terry Adams Rock & Roll Quartet - including ex-Banana Blender Surprise drummer Conrad Choucroun - would henceforth carry on as NRBQ. Houston Roots, Rock & Romance rockabilly rounders the Octanes open.

All shows start at 6:30 p.m. at Discovery Green, 1500 McKinney.

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