Last Train Home

Time and Water

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Eric Brace must really love his band, Last Train Home, having in 2002 left a cushy job as nightlife columnist at The Washington Post to go on the road full-time. Time and Water demonstrates his choice may not have been all that difficult. Good, and occasionally great songs, played expertly by an ever-expanding band (eight members including harp, horns, and pedal steel at last count) beg comparisons to the Mavericks and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band -- both bands tended to aim higher than what their membership was comfortable with. And as big as Last Train Home is, it only stands to reason that these varied players bring in many different genres as well. R&B influences the group on brother Alan Brace's "He's the Kind" and the Latin/mambo instrumental "Las Lagrimas del Pollo Rico" showcases Kevin Cordt's trumpet. If Brace isn't careful, however, even inspired melodies and homey lyrics won't save him if Last Train Home tries to be bigger than a decent country band should. Play what you know and play it well, then you can forget about the day job.

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