Robert Cray is best-known for his 1986 album, Strong Persuader, which fused smooth '80s production values with Cray's soulful, Otis Redding–like delivery. His latest, last year's mellow but inspired Nothin But Love, is another quiet, convincing argument for Cray's place in the American blues-soul canon.
Friday, August 23, at VooDoo Lounge (Harrah's Casino, 1 Riverboat Drive, North Kansas City, 816-472-7777)
The Lower 48, with Oils and No/Where
Like Dr. Dog or, more recently, Foxygen, Portland-via-Minneapolis act the Lower 48 capably mines the sunny sounds of mid-'60s heavyweights: the Beatles, the Stones, the Kinks, the Velvets. The group opens here for Oils, whose arty, sprawling jangle rock is some of the best music coming out of Lawrence at the moment. With No/Where.
Wednesday, August 28, at RecordBar (1020 Westport Road, 816-753-5207)
Lawrence Busker Festival
Do any of our local buskers belong on a stage instead of a street corner? Should some be receiving cash from club owners instead of pocket change from passers-by? Find out at this gathering of minstrels, street performers, troubadours — whatever you want to call them — in Lawrence this weekend. The Busker Ball, a meet-and-greet for the local and national performers, is Thursday at the Granada. The fest continues through Sunday at various downtown locations. See lawrencebuskerfest.com for the full schedule.
Thursday, August 22, through Sunday, August 25, in downtown Lawrence (bounded by Massachusetts and New Hampshire between Seventh and 11th streets)
Big Band Tribute to Kansas City Jazz
The cocktail-culture festival Paris of the Plains continues this week with a variety of events. Foremost among those for music fans is this Friday-night party at the Kill Devil Club. Recent Pitch Music Award winner Mark Lowrey leads a 12-piece swing band through big-band standards with an emphasis on the Kansas City jazz sounds of yore. Forty dollars gets you in the door, plus three drink tickets and passed hors d'oeuvres. This event sold out last year, so if you're interested, it might be a good idea to reserve tickets ahead of time. See popfestkc.com for more info.
Friday, August 23, at the Kill Devil Club (31 East 14th Street, 816-471-0704)