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25

W E D N E S D A Y

Chronic joy has a way of subverting the bluesman’s goals; it’s one of the reasons J.J. Cale has always been considered pretty minor. Nonetheless, Cale’s mojo can be compelling—when it wiggles, there’s no telling what the vibration will sound like. On Guitar Man, his latest, Cale makes himself comfortable writing about the ups and downs of the hermetic life (a subject he knows well) and weaving sex and murder into a keen plea to save the environment. It ain’t always the blues, but it ain’t at all bad, either. And no, J.J.’s not the guy that used to be in the Velvet Underground. At 8 p.m. at the Birchmere, 3901 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria. $22.50. (703) 549-5919. (Brett Anderson)