Guitar Shorty has played in bands with Ray Charles, Guitar Slim and Sam Cooke, and he once won "The Gong Show" while performing his theme song while balanced on his head; he returns to Stickyz in a mandatory show for blues geeks, 9 p.m., $8 adv., $10 d.o.s. Local promoter Langston Carr throws himself a birthday party at Revolution with Grammy nominee and Kanye collaborator Dwele doing the serenading; Rodney Block and the Real Music Lovers, Epiphany and others are also on the bill, 9 p.m., $15. "Hills" guest star and pop-rock singer/songwriter Ryan Cabrera performs at Juanita's with Jerard Finck opening, 10 p.m., $12 adv., $15 d.o.s.
North Little Rock metal act Rwake is internationally acclaimed — even more so after the release of its latest album, "Rest," which the Times' Robert Bell called "a dense, sprawling masterpiece" — but we suspect the band is far from a household name even among fans of hard rock in Arkansas. High-profile all-ages gigs like the one the band plays on Saturday at Revolution should help; Black Pussy, Eagle Claw, Snakedriver, Holy Angell open, 8 p.m., $7. At White Water Tavern, Cameron Holifield, Michael Inscoe, J.T. Tarpley and Natalie Elliott DJ a dance party, 9 p.m., $3 (if you wear sunglasses or a wig), otherwise $5. Tennessee singer/songwriter Will Hoge returns to Stickyz with Elenowen opening, 9 p.m., $10.
Helmet, a band that's kicked out delightfully layered slabs of noise for more than two decades, headlines at Juanita's with local throwback metal titans Iron Tongue and Zucura supporting. Tickets are $12 in advance or $16 the day of the show, which begins at 8:30 p.m.