As résumé lines go, “Guy that Bruce Springsteen occasionally invites to play onstage during his European tours” isn’t an especially stirring accomplishment. It nicely gets at the kind of musician Elliott Murphy is, though: a skilled guitarist and singer who doesn’t break a lot of new ground but who’s spent 30 years becoming an expert folk-rock guru. Since releasing his first album, Aquashow, in 1973, Murphy has been releasing albums at a Prince-like clip, and his latest, Notes From the Underground, has a familiar, lived-in feel: Murphy is adept at Dylanesque wordplay and nicely affects Leonard Cohen’s croak. Most of the new songs deal in Blood on the Tracks–style ruminations on love and heartbreak, and at this show (part of his first United States tour in eight years) the smart concertgoer will tune out his more purple lines (“I smelled your hair/It smelled like destiny”) and wait for Murphy to break off one of his consistently impressive solos with hotshot guitarist Olivier Durand.
ELLIOTT MURPHY PERFORMS WITH JANN KLOSE AT 9:30 P.M. AT THE VELVET LOUNGE, 915 U ST. NW. $15. (202) 462-3213.