Picnic blankets and lawn chairs coated the hillside at Lake Royal Friday, July 10, as dozens of Fairfax residents attended the first of Braddock Nights’ free musical performances this summer. The Billy Coulter Band serenaded the crowd with an hour of music, which it described as a blend between Americana, Roots Rock and Power Pop.
“It’s been hit or miss with our recent outside concerts due to weather, so we’re so glad it’s a Braddock night here tonight,” lead vocalist Billy Coulter said, as children rolled down the hill and dogs greeted each other with gusto in the background.
Throughout the evening, the band played a mixture of its singles, as well as covers of famous hits, such as Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire” and Dwight Yoakam’s “Fast as You.” The group’s singles covered themes relatable to the audience, such as “If You Can’t Live Without Me” (regarding the allure of social media) and “Gimme One More Try” (about an apology to a significant other).
Coulter also spent portions of the program sharing his personal stories that inspired some of the band’s songs, including his experience reading tarot cards to lonely callers over the phone in New Mexico. According to the group’s website, Coulter has been nominated for over 30 Washington Area Music Awards over the past 10 years.
Braddock District Supervisor John Cook spoke at the concert’s conclusion, thanking the concert’s sponsors, as well as hosting a raffle for Billy Coulter band T-shirts and a set of invasive species playing cards.
“I’ve seen many returning faces here, including the swan,” Cook said, gesturing to a passing waterfowl. “It’s great to see so many people out here tonight for Braddock Nights’ start of the summer concerts.”