The choices are painful tonight. Too much great music around town ... but ya gotta choose something! Or I suppose you could just stay home. But given the choices, why?
Wanna get it going early? Check out the Sportin' Lifers at the Secret Society (6 pm, $5), Michael Hurley at the Laurelthirst (6 pm, no cover), or Buzz Holland at the Star Day Tavern (6 pm, no cover)
If you want to start earlier (or head there later), tonight kicks off the Cathedral Park Jazz Festival - blues and r&b tonight, jazz tomorrow and Sunday. (5 pm, free but also now a fundraiser, food collection drive for the Oregon Food Bank)
More free music in Portland parks? Of course! How about The Quick & Easy Boys at Fernhill Park ... 6:30 pm
Are you a fan of the venue Jimmy Mak's? This weekend it's celebrating its 20th anniversary with "An Evening of Rhythm & Blues" led by Curtis Salgado and joined by a who's who of Portland vocalists and players. As Lloyd Jones would say, "crushing!" ... 8 pm, $33
One of the darlings of the Americana genre, singer/songwriter Hayes Carll, is at the Aladdin ... good stuff, and the always delightful Ashleigh Flynn opens ... 8 pm, $25
The Alberta Rose Theatre hosts a theatrical musical bill with Ben Caplan & the Casual Smokers, Saloon Ensemble, and Chris Chandler & Paul Benoit ... 8 pm, $14
The Portland Cello Project is doing a Prince tribute - Dance Party in Purple - at the Doug Fir - tonight and Saturday ... 9 pm, $18
Though he's been living in south Asia for the past three years, James Low manages to make it back to the friendly confines of the Laurelthirst each summer. A lot of folks never go out all year until he returns (ok, maybe not really). They'll be all jammed in the Laurelthirst catching up on the year and listening to one of Portland's best songwriters with a band that can rock the doors off the place. Only chance to catch this show until next summer! This also marks a year since Portland lost Dave Camp, James' friend, guitar player, and an extraordinary soul in the music community. Dave would have us all rock hard and have as much fun as possible. Let's make that happen tonight. See ya there ... 9 pm, $5
And finally (I know there's more), there's more soul and r&b with Midnight Honey at Jo Bar ... 10 pm
On Saturday M. Ward at Revolution Hall is sold out, but there's other great choices.
Early music - Everything's Jake will swing the Secret Society (6 pm, $5) and Redray Frazier is at the Laurelthirst (6 pm, no cover)
Matt Miner is hosting a backyard house concert with the outstanding singer/songwriter Buddy Mondlock. The charming local duo Pretty Gritty opens ... 5 pm, $16.50 / 19.60 with a donation to the Jeremy Wilson Foundation
Jimmy Mak's continues their 20th anniversary weekend with Soul Vaccination ... 8 pm, $20
Lewi Longmire and the Left Coast Roasters and James Low will be at the White Eagle. Very last chance to catch James in town ... 9 pm, $8
Kris Deelane & the Hurt will be creating soul and r&b havoc at the Laurelthirst ... 9:30 pm, $8
And remember concerts in Portland Parks all week (and all summer). Sellwood Riverfront Park has Pete Krebs and the Portland Playboys on Monday evening!