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13

FRIDAY

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The Lord works in mysterious ways, one of them being how he always seems to wave a crap-wand over the recorded output of converted musicians (witness Dylan and MC Hammer). And though the voice of the Rev. Al Green—arguably the world’s greatest singer, and certainly the man with the best conversion story involving boiling grits—has not been diminished by time or his Lordship, Green’s gospel releases can’t hold a candle to any record that came out of his early Hi years. The songs on his latest, I Can’t Stop, may not be sculpted from God’s secret stash of starbutter like those on Let’s Stay Together or Call Me, but the reunion with Willie Mitchell is easily the best thing he’s done in ages. For the new disc, Green gathered up a couple of the Hodges brothers to ground the rhythm section, got some of the Royal Horns to polish their brass, and even broke out his lucky microphone, affectionately known as “No. 9.” Green plays with Stephanie Mills and Phil Perry at 8 p.m. (see City List for other dates) at DAR Constitution Hall, 18th and C Streets NW. $65.50. (202) 432-7328. (David Dunlap Jr.)