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Album Review: Billy Coulter — Trace

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If you haven’t been to one of local (DC) singer-songwriter Billy Coulter’s shows yet, his recent live album Trace: Live at Goose Creek is the next best thing.

The album, which was recorded in May of last year, boasts a baker’s dozen of tracks: seven of Coulter’s songs that can be found on previous albums Dose and Billy Coulter, five new ones, and a great cover of Dwight Yoakam’s “Fast As You” (Coulter sticks pretty closely to the original, which is so awesome that it’s hard to screw up). The new tracks are excellent: “Station Wagon,” the best of the new songs, is an infectious burst of Eddie Cochranesque rockabilly, while “If You Can’t Live Without Me (How Come You’re Not Dead?)” is, as its title suggests, a gleeful, catchy kiss-off of a drunk dialing ex. “Lighthouse Keeper” pushes the roots rock boundaries just a bit by adding a Celtic tint; if these tunes are representative of the new material Coulter—and his band, who are sharp as ever on Trace—are working on, I’m making room on my shelf for the next studio album.

Listen If You Like: Bruce Robison, Bill Kirchen

Top tracks: “Station Wagon,” “Lighthouse Keeper”

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