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Strap on a Paul Reed Smith Custom, made from rare tropical woods, and you’re halfway to being a guitar god. A Marshall stack with 200,000 watts of power will get a crowd’s attention. Strut about with a Stradivarius or sit behind a Steinway and people will think you’re an artist. But try to hold an audience captivated with a pair of spoons. Go on, Music Boy, we’ll wait. Yeah, I thought so. However, there walks among us a man unafraid to step onstage armed only with common cutlery. A man who can wring entertainment from kitchenware. That man is Mr. Spoons, and Mr. Spoons has been keeping the clattering art of musical spoon playing alive for more than half a century. His silverware has been clocked at 400 bpm (imagine!), and he can keep a dozen or more utensils clacking at once. The indefatigable raconteur even tells a great tale about instigating a showdown with a rival spoonslinger from Kentucky in a New York saloon. The bluegrass pretender, of course, was never heard from again. This weekend, Mr. Spoons comes to town for the “Mid-Atlantic Tour 2000,” which will find him playing at the Hard Times Cafes in Arlington, Alexandria, and Rockville. The “tour” was organized by Hard Times co-owner Fred Parker, who journeyed to Spoons’ hometown of Cincinnati to learn the sacred art. Cincinnati, of course, is also home to a fine tradition of chili-worship. Get a spoonful of both at 7 p.m. Friday, April 21, at the Hard Times Cafe, 3028 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, (703) 528-2233, Saturday, April 22, at the Hard Times Cafe, 1404 King St., Alexandria, (703) 683-5340, and Sunday, April 23, at the Hard Times Cafe, 1117 Nelson St., Rockville, (301) 294-9720. Free. (Dave Nuttycombe)