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Junior Brown’s mantle as country music’s answer to Les Paulhe designed and built his trademark “guit-steel,” an artful synthesis of electric and steel guitars, which he plays with divine skillhas made the man a legend in his own time. Brown’s most recent studio project1998’s Long Walk Backdemonstrated his willingness to foray into different musical territory, much to the dismay of the country purists who once championed him. The three years he’s spent promoting the album and making appearances in Gap commercials, The X-Files, and a Brendan Fraser movie have only made things worse. And despite his recent announcement that Stone Temple Pilots guitarist Dean DeLeo is co-writing a song on his forthcoming album, Brown still rejects all speculation that he’s gone mainstream. He’ll have a chance to prove it tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Birchmere, 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria. $19.50. (703) 549-7500. (Christopher Flores)