Listology: Nick Gaitan of the Octanes and The Umbrella Man's Favorite Female Vocalists

This is a big week for all-everything Houston bassist Nick Gaitan. Not only have his Monday-night Continental Club gigs with atomic-powered rockabilly trio the Octanes been steadily been picking up steam, his other band The Umbrella Man - which just happens to play Tuesday nights at the very same place - releases its self-titled debut CD tomorrow night with special guest Pokey Lafarge. Nick's a busy guy - oh yeah, he also plays bass for Billy Joe Shaver, if you haven't heard - but he was kind enough to fill out one of our Listology lists for us.

Appropriately for someone who sings alongside a powerhouse like Kam Franklin, he chose his favorite female singers of all time. Thanks, man.

Nina Simone: I once had a dream, and I was sitting in a dark basement with Nina Simone and we talked for what seems to be a long time, i could only see her up to the knee and a little light that showed her beautiful skin ,watching her mouth move as she spoke, lips smooth in the darkness. we ended up in a passenger train with red seats, i could see her now... and after that part of the dream we were simply walking on railroad tracks forever talking .....last thing she said was to get up and move!

Billie Holiday

Nothing like Lady Day, nothing in this world. Just watch her keep time with her right arm, so sweetly swinging. and watch her her eyes...At about 1:26, she raises that left eyebrow, and I just about die every time. Classic.

Lola Beltran

Big beautiful Voice, Lola Beltran!! Just let it fill the Air! Nothing like the classic! I miss Radio Ranchito Me gusta Mas!

Mahalia Jackson

Mahalia is the OG gospel Singer. Again, big strong voice! brings memories of Southmayd Elementary during our black history programs that i would love to sing and participate in. Do you all remember those great burritos they had in School Lunch? (Hi Vivi!)

Hope Sandoval

Hope has always been a favorite...East L.A. girl singing pretty and dark serenades. The warm inventions are cool too. Much love to Hope Sandoval.

Bessie Smith

She was an ass-kicking, song-singing bad-ass. Bessie was on my turntable and in my CD player forever. I picked her up in the public library and it was one of the best things i did as a young fan of music. i spent some time in Chattanooga, Tenn., and happened to play in the Chuch that she was baptized in - it was the first black congregation there and they recently turned the building back to life as a performance hall. As the story goes, she was in line to be baptized and took off out the window and joined the shows that would end up being her living that night, never to return.

Maria Callas

The DIVA. I just love her. That is all.

Lydia Mendoza

Lived in Houston and San Antonio. A musical treasure.

Chelo Silva

Chelo, like Lola, i enjoy just about any time, anywhere.

La Lupe

So nice I showed her twice, La Lupe is amazing, she was on the Fania Label. Love that woman. FIRE!

Big Mama Thornton

I think its the coolest thing in the world that she recorded "Hound Dog" here in Houston. Look at her - awesome.

Barbara Lynn

The Gulf Coast Queen. I love Barbara Lynn. I met her once at the Greyhound station in Austin - saw her standing there at gate 5 to "Houston, Beaumont and all points east." I said hello, and helped her with her guitar on the bus and said goodbye. She was a very nice lady to meet - anyway, check out the video. Enjoy.

The Octanes perform 10 p.m. Mondays at the Continental Club, 3700 Main, 713-529-9899 or www.continentalclub.com/houston.html. The Umbrella Man plays same time, same place Tuesdays.

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