Matthew Gray at The Kessler, Lo-Fi Chorus at Dan's, The Virgin Wolves at Lochrann's and Within Chaos at Trees

We've got a nice and busy Thursday evening of shows for you this time around. Looks like Friday got here a little early...

Matthew Gray, Tony Ferraro and Ryan Thomas Becker at The Kessler Theater
I dare anyone to find a better trio of local singer-songwriters than this bill of three men playing the Kessler this evening. Gray, of Arrogant Sea fame, has such a large backlog of great material that he could probably carry the entire night by himself. But that would be a slight to Eaton Lake Tonics' Tony Ferraro. Despite having a name that suggests the title character from a bad '70s detective show, Ferraro knows a thing or two about creating a great tune. Same goes for Ryan Thomas Becker. Together, these three should just call tonight's performance a songwriter's clinic.

Lo-Fi Chorus and Welcome Signs at Dan's Silverleaf
Dallas' Lo-Fi Chorus is the unappreciated duo of Erik Thompson and Chad Walls. Sure, in a town blessed with so many fine Americana acts, it's easy to get lost in the crowd. But Thompson's songs are special, emotionally packed creations. Check out "Cannonball" from the band's self-titled effort from 2001. Paul Westerberg himself couldn't wrench a heart any better. Or there's "Best Friend's Wedding" from the band's 2007 release, Something in the Air, a power-pop ditty that shows Thompson and Walls growing by proverbial leaps and bounds. Word is these guys are prepping something new. Good news, for sure.

The Virgin Wolves and The Klanks at Lochrann's Irish Pub
Denton's Virgin Wolves is a blues-based rock band that features the talents of singer Jaimeson Robbins, a gal who doesn't mind shouting out "I've been living with half-dead men" on the wonderfully demented "Virtue and Vice." Seems Robbins is a tormented young gal -- and it's her spunk and spirit that helps these Wolves rise above the usual, run-of-the-mill blooze.

Within Chaos, American Lab Rat and Tyrade at Trees
Fort Worth's Within Chaos certainly lives up to the band's moniker. Jay Childress and crew have to be one of the most aggressive and uncompromising bands in our area. Songs like "Venom" and "Virulent" are headache-inducing slabs of pure anger that combine several different metal genres and end up sounding original and intense. Certainly a band to look out for in 2011.