Record Of The Week # 128

Paul Cauthen – Country Coming Down

Sonically this album swings from R&B funk, with sharp beats and psychotic lyrics, to more tender and reflective acoustic numbers. Cauthen seems a true maverick. His has been a been a turbulent journey including addiction and latterly reflection. However, he’s back from all that with high energy and a ‘bad ass’ attitude. He sports a Stetson and places himself in the world of country music. Given the other pretenders that inhabit this genre he’s maybe not a complete imposter but urban rock and shades of americana are more fitting. He’s ably supported by fellow Texans Jason Burt and Beau Bedford (The Texan Gentlemen). They create a variety of modern or traditional sounds and the arrangements are never overly fussy but just right for the message and sentiment.

“Country As Fuck” starts proceedings with a lyric bordering on doggerel and an irresistible dirty funk. (This needs to played at volume 11 on a busy sunny street in slow traffic with the windows down: mayhem.) Lyrically it seems to have been marinated in something illegal – “NASCAR, dive bar, fireworks, guitar / Riding mower, landowner, 83 Texoma / I was driving tractors before it got sexy / Real cowboys don’t rock to Kenny Chеsney.”  Amen to that. As the words go on to say then it’s ‘country’ based on his own definition! The video promoting this is well worth a look. It’s a dynamic start. The album has four other terrific funk numbers “Caught Me at a Good Time”, “Country Clubbin’”, “Fuck You Money” and” Cut a Rug” with a clunky guitar signature on a loop that’s pure Glitter Band in its stomping rhythm. 

When things calm down “’Til The Day I Die” and “Roll on Over” justify his self promoted soubriquet as ‘Velvet Voice’. They’re heartfelt love songs that give his voice a full workout. The choruses are anthemic and Lana Del Rey comes to mind as an inspiration for the arrangements. “Country Coming Down” has our man reflect on a life in the backwoods over an acoustic guitar backing. Such a stripped back tune shows that without the band and arrangements he can craft a winsome melody. It’s a fitting end to the high energy before it. It’s quite a ride and given the profanity it’s not going to make a lot of radio station play lists but I doubt he’ll care. Compulsory listening.

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