Based in Encinitas, singer/guitarist Lee Coulter is a soulful troubador along the lines of Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, and local ladies man Michael Tiernan.
For Coulter, who was originally inspired by Simon and Garfunkel and Back to the Future (“I played the tennis racket to the soundtrack”), it’s about the music. And producing. And giving Rockstar 101 lessons on YouTube. It’s also about turning on people to unheard gems by other musicians via “Live from the Laptop.”
“It’s another way to share music,” says the Encinitas resident, who left Australia in 2002 to join Sharisse in America. (“She imported me.”) From the couple’s Encinitas home, he messages, “I post ‘Live from the Laptop’ Mondays, on YouTube. Playing obscure covers is a result of being covered by other musicians. I thought I’d do the same for virtually unknown songwriters that I admire.”
Coulter makes ends meet “with performances at corporate and private events and bread-and-butter gigs around town. As Lee Coulter’s Perfect Wav, I produce other artists. And there’s royalties, but that’s a fraction of what I hope it will be someday.”
How did his Sirius Radio exposure happen?
“A friend of a friend came to a show and said he wanted to help. He had no experience and no connections. At first I was suspicious. I guess I’m so used to being under the radar...it’s the kind of thing I hear all the time, and nothing comes of it. On this occasion, I lucked out. This guy just sent my CD in cold. Sirius picked up ‘I Would Love’ and started playing it three times a day on The Coffeehouse.
“Then I flew to Sirius’ New York headquarters for a live recording. They have a studio called the Fishbowl, with glass walls so people can watch from the lobby. I played five originals and “59th Street Bridge Song.” It aired the last week in April.”
As his comedic “misguided, sexier alter ego, Walter Legeaux,” Coulter morphs into hip-hop mode for the “Rockstar 101.”
“Rockstar 101 is about having fun with the absurdities of ‘Indie Cred.’ Anyone can be a star. It’s about attitude and being larger than life.”
His 2011 video for “Gray or Blue” features Kate Vincent and was shot by Sharisse Coulter. Also in 2011, his LeGeaux character teamed with rapper friend Stepchylde for a new band, Square Pegs Baby.
His full-length Mr. Positivity was released in March 2012. When his wife Sharisse’s first fiction book was published in 2013, the duo spent six months on a novel-music tour, crossing the country in a custom RV painted with green-and-blue tropical murals and their names emblazoned on the sides, hitting 55 cities accompanied by their four-year-old son.
It’s a lifestyle he feels lucky to have long enjoyed. “I only had three real jobs before playing music full time,” he says, noting that — even in his worker bee days — good fortune seemed his favor. “I was never fired or anything. I like to think that’s because I’m too pretty.”
At the 2021 San Diego Music Awards, Coulter took home the trophy for Best Folk or Acoustic Song: "Look Away."