James Coates and the Lost Souls

With his bushy red hair and beard, local boy James Coates is exactly like American Idol frontrunner Casey Abrams, only much heavier, much humbler, and much more talented. Vocally, Coates sounds like Bob Dylan would if Dylan could actually sing, while lyrically, he veers closer to Springsteen territory. Coates' backing band, the Lost Souls, is evocative of Whiskeytown. There you have the name-dropped-to-death Cliff's Notes for those who are completely unfamiliar with Coates, who's currently peddling a haunting, five-song solo debut. If it all looks intriguing on paper (and it should), rest assured it only gets better in the flesh. With Clumsy Lovers. MIKE SEELY

Sat., March 26, 9:30 p.m., 2011

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