MP3 of the Day: Umbrella Man

umbrella man john powers.jpg
John Powers

For the cultish followers of JFK Assassination lore, the "Umbrella Man" was a shadowy figure along the parade route in Dallas. The character's story purports that he either was involved in the killing of President Kennedy by using his umbrella to signal the shooters to fire - or even stranger, that he shot a poison dart from the umbrella that immobilized the president.

Thankfully, Nick Gaitan's Umbrella Man doesn't traffic in conspiracy theories, either lyrically or musically. What they do instead is lay down expertly crafted pieces of accordion-laced roots-rock, with Gaitan and Kam Franklin sharing sultry vocals. Having those two together onstage is like a crazy Houston kaleidoscope image of Johnny and June.

At this past Sunday's Houston Press Music Awards showcase, which we briefly covered (ha ha), Gaitan was making the rounds all over the streets with a brand-new demo from the Umbrellas. This track is the second cut on the disc, and it's "Minds In Misery."

The band plays Tuesdays around 10 p.m. at the Continental Club off Main. At least when Gaitan is not laying down the deep rumble for Texas country legend Billy Joe Shaver on tour.

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