Girls, Guns & Glory: Boston outfit (Act of the Year at Boston Music Awards) combines smooth honky-tonk with the heart and grit of early rock 'n' roll. Vocalist Ward Hayden's cowboy twang makes their songs stick after you forget exactly how they went. Friday night at Offshore Ale Co. in Oak Bluffs.
Future Rock: Chicago trio specializes in sensory overload by manipulating live loops, synthesizers, filters, acoustic and electronic drums and kaleidoscopic lights to create mind-bending sights and sounds. Saturday night at Nectar's by the airport.
Barrington Levy: Jamaica's kingpin of dance hall reggae. His elastic and searing voice is one of the most distinct in the genre. Hip-hop aesthetic and bold charisma ignite his performances. Wednesday night at Nectar's by the airport.
Chuchito Valdes: Jerry Lee Louis of Afro-Cuban jazz. Sophisticated piano playing - articulate and muscular - often boils over into wild improvisation. But don't be fooled - he's always in control even when he's blindly bashing the keys. Not one to miss. Next Thursday night at Union Chapel in Oak Bluffs.
Connell Driscoll: College kid from Boston traffics in radio-ready acoustic pop that bristles with young love and loss. His voice, slightly serrated, and catchy melodies might appeal to an older crowd than his wistful lyrics - though your little sister probably has a serious crush on him. Wednesday nights at Seasons in Oak Bluffs.