Want to get a bead on Paul Cauthen?
Good freakin' luck -- especially on his third album, COUNTRY COMING DOWN.
COUNTRY COMING DOWN has been in motion awhile, actually. The title track, one of several co-writes with good Nashville pal Aaron Raitiere, has been around since before Cauthen's dark sophomore album ROOM 41. Its sense of campfire calm and "damn near off the map" idyll set a bar, for both music and lifestyle, that Cauthen aspired to, while the rest of the new album, recorded at Modern Electric Sound Recorders in Dallas with regular collaborators Beau Bedford (Texas Gentlemen) and Jason Burt (Medicine Man Revival), shows that Cauthen was able to get there without losing any of the playful "hot dog holly golly dagnabit" good-time spirit that rolls off his tongue like a tumbleweed in the west Texas panhandle.
If you want to know what COUNTRY COMING DOWN sounds like, tuck into the album's sonic array, an austere, sinewy attack that puts Cauthen's vocals dead center in the ride. "We've really unleashed Big Velvet in this situation, which I love," he says. Nowhere is that more true than "Country As Fuck," with a taut groove and loping gait tailor made for a 21st century honky tonk. Cauthen, Bedford and Burt play with that template throughout COUNTRY COMING DOWN, punctuating "Caught Me At a Good Time" with a sharp guitar solo, "High Heels" with a tasteful Wurlitzer break and the satiristic "Country Clubbin'" with a disco beat and chorus of female backing vocals.
His muse fully engaged, Cauthen is looking towards doing more of that in the future, with a few conceptual ideas up his sleeve about what he might do next. No matter what direction he takes, however, he won’t be abandoning that cabin in the hills or the "Country Clubbin'" life; Cauthen will just be adding more to the mix he's stirred together.
"It's just about looking at yourself in the mirror and knowing that what you've done to this day has been in good standing, with good morals and a good compass in life, driven the right way," he says. "Legacy is all we have -- that, and try to be a good person as well. If you get all that together, then you can do whatever the fuck you want and it'll be alright."