Some solid choices for touring shows and locals tonight . . . my picks are . . .
Okkervil River is at the Crystal Ballroom on tour supporting their new recording, The Stand Ins, which is following up their critically acclaimed 2007 release, The Stage Names. My son turned me on to these guys last year and the band has a buzz for very good reasons. Check them out. 9 PM, $20
JJ Gray and Mofro will be at Berbati's Pan. Gray's set of swamp soul was impressive last year at the Waterfront Blues Festival and is on tour supporting his new CD, Orange Blossoms. Hill Country Revue (a project of members of the North Mississippi Alstars) opens. 9 PM, $18
. . . and if you want a preview of Hill Country Revue, they'll be at Music Millennuim this afternoon at 5 PM for an in-store performance.
On the local front, the Joe McMurrian Quartet will at the Laurelthirst. 9:30 PM, $5
Added note: James Low (solo) is opening for Joe.
. . . and there's very cool show at the White Eagle with the Louisiana sounds of Atomic Gumbo and thefunk/jazz/hip-hop of Commotion. Atomic Gumbo is led by Kolvane's keyboard player Steve Kerin. Steve is a classically trained, New Orleans schooled piano player who reminds me a lot of Marcia Ball in his ability to channel a variety of piano styles that have their roots in the Crescent City. Commotion opens and is a project of local jazz pianist Ben Darwish. Come out and see two of Portlands best piano players in action. 9:30 PM, $6
More later about Saturday choices . . .