“Country Coming Down” – Paul Cauthen (2022) [english]

Today, friends, I’m talking about an artist who is one of the few, in current music, who can be called “genius”. Music, you know, has now explored all kinds of genres and all kinds of nuances. Every artist nowadays, can be inspired by what has already been done but if he has talent he can try to give a touch of originality to his music, standing out from the crowd. I’m not saying that, who does not, is commercial or to throw away, on the contrary, but sometimes there are artists who are not satisfied or who have a personality so overflowing, that circumscribing them in a single musical boundary, sometimes, is impossible. The frontman of Whiskey Myers, Cody Cannon, recently in an interview about the new sounds heard in the newly released singles, said something that sums up the concept, which will also be applied to the artist I will talk about : “if I wasn’t able to have the freedom just to create however I wanted, I wouldn’t do it at all.” The point is that there are artists who don’t want boundaries and if they can’t have the freedom to explore and create as they feel inside, then it’s like killing them. Well, Paul Cauthen from Tyler, Texas is such an artist. Paul has music in his DNA, he couldn’t escape this world, not even want to. Grandparents immersed him in music since he was a child : one had gone to school with the myth Hank Williams, while the other had worked with Buddy Holly. His grandmother then taught him how to play the piano and Cauthen recounts in various interviews that he felt the spirit of the entertainer since those days. The career of the Texan continued into adulthood and came to various performances at Cheatham Warehouse in San Marcos, a legendary club that launched more than one career and led him to form a duo the Sons of Fathers who recorded two albums of very good quality, albums that traveled between country rock and the music of the roots. Cauthen, however, felt he had to leave alone for this trip and in 2016 he released My Gospel, recorded in part in the locality of Muscle Shoals in Alabama, birthplace of soul southern music. The album was a small jewel, which earned him numerous awards even from well-known magazines such as Rolling Stone. The next EP, Have Mercy in 2018, refined even more his country music very inspired by the past, a kind of modern Johnny Cash that made him debut at the Grand Ole Opry. His voice was the secret, intense and exciting baritone that earned him the title of Big Velvet. We are human beings and the times that are hard and that put us to the test, are always around the corner and Cauthen made no difference. Breaking of a love, depression, anxiety from success and all the bandwagon that usually follows an artist in personal crisis. All this was told with an album, Room 41 of 2019, a real evolution in the sound that was already beginning to understand that the boy was not a common one. An album that earned him the participation in major festivals and the opening of concerts by artists in Texas were already legends like Cody Jinks, whose friendship lasts even now (Cauthen also appears in a piece of the fantastic live recorded at Red Rocks by Jinks). Here we come to this record, 10 pieces, recorded with the two collaborators now consolidated at his side Beau Bedford and Jason Burt at the Modern Electric Sound Recorders in Dallas. The first word that comes to mind, listening to these 10 tracks, as I anticipated before, is genius. It’s almost a crime to tell it without you listening to it first. Paul Cauthen basically uses his wonderful voice and puts it at the service of an original, crazy, funny sound, in which banality will never have space. You don’t believe that? Press play and let yourself be shocked by Country as Fuck, an irreverent funky country piece, whose boundaries between what is satire or pure fun are not there. Teasing? Joke? Or reality? I don’t know but damn funny and not at all trivial. The acoustic and syncopated guitar of High Heels, accompanies his voice in a pleasant piece that flows into an electric piano solo that is a little gem. Now country now blues rock, it doesn’t have a genre but that’s the beauty. With Country Clubbin’ we enter a Texas nightclub by the front door or we enter it because it’s all a joke? The compressed guitar that makes it look like a 1970s synthesizer accompanies us in a song of pure satire and fun and the female choirs only increase this feeling. Weird, weird, but damn nice. Cauthen’s voice is fine on everything, like black. The syncopated groove of Champagne & Limo relaxes the atmosphere, Fuck You Money raises the beats with a guitar that lashes the air and gives us a beautiful solo, and a direct and outspoken lyrics to get to the blues with the irresistible groove of Cut a Rug, where Cauthen makes fun of disco dances, he doesn’t miss any. There is also the space for a ballad dedicated to his wife, Till The Day I Die, a ballad that does not differ from the feeling of the record : strange, rarefied but that the voice brings on lidos now rock, now country, now soul. The work of the keyboards is really remarkable. The album ends with the title track that is a song that Cauthen wrote years ago with Aaron Raitiere, really fantastic author (which we will also find in a piece of the new Whiskey Myers album out in summer, ed). It’s a song that makes an allusion not even so veiled to a very famous piece of one of the Highwaymen (Kris Kristofferson), almost to declare publicly that he too has inside of him that feeling outlaw, not to follow the rules of this or that genre that had caused so much sensation in the music of the original Outlaws. After all this journey through clubs, nightclubs and limousine fun, Cauthen declares that he dreams of a country life, where life is slow and easier. A legitimate dream for those who have lived and been almost destroyed by the shimmering and deceptive life of the “city”. An original record, fun and, I can say, damn brilliant. You have fun, you dance, you tease the mainstream, you get excited about true love and you go back to country life. All in one record, without ever falling into banalities or passable songs. I can not recommend it to lovers of this or that kind, because there are no genres to refer to. I give only this advice to those who want to be amazed and amused by a great entertainer and a great artist : listen without preconceptions and you too will enter the world of Big Velvet, a fun and easy-going world but deep and poetic, satirical and never banal. If you have more time then discover his previous records, it’s really worth it.

Good listening,

Trex Willer by http://www.ticinonotizie.it

(you can find original italian article at this link : https://www.ticinonotizie.it/paul-cauthen-country-coming-down-2022-by-trex-roads/ )

Pubblicato da Trex

Sono un blogger e scrittore appassionato di musica indipendente americana. Scrivo gialli polizieschi e ho inventato il personaggio del detective texano Cody Myers.

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