Paul Mark Cauthen[1] (born in 1986)[2] is a singer-songwriter from East Texas.[3] He started his music career in an Americana/indie folk rock duo called Sons of Fathers, before turning solo. He has released two albums and an EP as a solo artist, the most recent being Room 41 released in September 2019.

Paul Cauthen
Birth namePaul Mark Cauthen
Also known asPaul Cauthen's Big Velvet Revue
Born1985/1986 (age 33–34)
Tyler, Texas U.S.
OriginTyler, Texas U.S.
GenresNeotraditional country
Alternative country
Outlaw country
Americana
Occupation(s)Singer-songwriter
InstrumentsVoice, guitar, piano
Years active2009–present
LabelsLightning Rod Records
Associated actsBeck & Cauthen
Sons of Fathers
Texas Gentlemen
Websitepaulcauthenmusic.com

Early lifeEdit

Cauthen was born in Tyler in East Texas.[4]

Cauthen grew up in a religious household. His father was a song leader in the conservative Christian Church of Christ,[5][6] and his father's twin brother was the preacher there. Cauthen's father and uncle sang as a musical duo in church.[3] Cauthen has said that the church he grew up in did not allow instruments, so the focus was on a capella singing of what he called "heavenly highway hymns, the old hymnals",[5] but that if he was active in the church, he would be a fifth-generation song leader/preacher.[3]

Cauthen has said that his family is from Texas on both sides. His grandmother's family was from West Texas as well as part of New Mexico because her father sold drill bits for oil wells. Cauthen's father is a fifth-generation Texan via Montgomery, Alabama, where Cauthen's paternal grandfather went to school with Hank Williams.[7]

Although his maternal grandfather Jim Paul Cauthen died when he was 10 years old, Cauthen was deeply influenced by his grandfather, who gave him a guitar and was a songwriter himself. Cauthen was his only male grandchild.[7] Cauthen's grandfather also taught him – and his two sisters – how to sing harmonies at a very young age.[5] Cauthen's grandmother taught him piano.[8] Jim Paul Cauthen had spent time in the 1950s with Buddy Holly and The Crickets and was good friends with Holly's bandmate Sonny Curtis, who later fronted The Crickets.[9][10]

CareerEdit

Sons of FathersEdit

Cauthen got his start playing in an Americana/indie folk rock band singer-songwriter duo with musician David Beck. Cauthen met Beck, whose father was Bill Whitbeck, long-time Robert Earl Keen bass player, in San Marcos, Texas in 2009.[11] They got to know each other at a regular local songwriter's night series at Cheatham Street Warehouse.[12] Beck gave deejay Jessie Scott their demo, who gave their demo to manager Marty Schwartz, who came out of retirement to manage the duo.[11] The band was initially called Beck & Cauthen but they later changed the name of the band to be Sons of Fathers when musician Beck sent a cease and desist letter.[12] Sons of Fathers featured Beck on the upright bass and Cauthen on guitar, with both singing vocals.[13]

Both their 2011 and 2013 Sons of Fathers records, the self-titled Sons of Fathers and Burning Days, were produced by Lloyd Maines. Burning Days featured Regan Schmidt on lap steel/electric guitar, Dees Stribling on drums, Bryan Mammel on keyboards/accordion, Tony Browne on guitar/mandolin. The record also features Maines on pedal steel and Corby Schaub on guitar.

The duo also had a studio called Fast Horse Studios where they produced records by local bands like Canvas People, Carson McHone, Luke Bell, Pake Rossi, and others.[14]

In April 2014, after five years together, the Sons of Fathers broke up.[5][6] Cauthen cited differing musical focuses.[15]

Solo careerEdit

In 2016, in a shift from singing as a duo to lead vocals, Cauthen released his first solo record called My Gospel on Lightning Rod Records.[8][15] Parts of the record were recorded in Muscle Shoals, Alabama and features the work of Los Angeles-based multi-instrumentalist, Gus Seyffert.[8] The song, "As Young As You’ll Ever Be" is about the death of Cauthen's friend, the San Marcos, Texas-based singer-songwriter, Victor Holk.[5][16] My Gospel was listed as number 23 of Rolling Stone magazine's top 40 country records of 2016.[17]

In 2018, Cauthen released the EP, Have Mercy.[9] The EP, recorded live at Modern Electric in Dallas, was produced by Beau Bedford, whose band the Texas Gentlemen appears on the record. A notable song off the EP was the opening track, "Everybody Walking This Land", which calls out hate and complicit racism.[18] That song, "Everybody Walking This Land", was used in the end credits to the season 2 opener of the Starz network TV show, American Gods.[19]

On June 22, 2018, Cauthen made his Grand Ole Opry debut as a solo artist.[20][21] Cauthen had previously played the Opry twice with Sons of Fathers.[14]

In 2019, Cauthen released his second solo record called Room 41. At one point Cauthen considered calling the record Holy Ghost Fire after that track on the album, but eventually settled on Room 41.[2] The title of the record is in honor of the room number where Cauthen lived at the Belmont Hotel in West Dallas, Texas, for almost two years while he wrote the record.[3]

Room 41 was the culmination of a dark period in Cauthen's life, prompted by the end of a long-term relationship in Wichita Falls, Texas. Cauthen relocated to Dallas and while writing prolifically, went through a period of alcohol and drug abuse.[2]

The first video from Room 41 was for the track "Cocaine Country Dancing" was filmed at the Electric Cowboy Fort Worth country music venue in Fort Worth, Texas.[22] In September 2019, the video was nominated by the Dallas Observer's Music Awards for Best Music Video.[23]

The second video from Room 41 was for the track "Prayed for Rain", which is about the struggles of sharecroppers from the bleak period of 1930s Dust Bowl. The song was co-written by Cauthen, Beau Bedford (Texas Gentlemen), Jason Burt (Medicine Man Revival) and singer-songwriter Ward Davis. The video was shot at Tate Farms in Rockwall, Texas.[24]

In 2019, Cauthen and the Texas Gentlemen produced Elaina Kay's record, Issues.[25]

Cauthen often plays with and has collaborated with Cody Jinks.[26] Cauthen and Jinks have recorded two covers together, Chris Cornell's "Black Hole Sun", which they cut at Echo Lab studios,[27] and the Waylon Jennings song, "Luckenbach, Texas (Back to the Basics of Love)".[28] Cauthen has also toured with and sang with Margo Price,[29] and has worked closely with the Texas Gentlemen, among a local community of other musicians.[9]

Personal lifeEdit

In 2007, when he was a senior in a boarding high school, Cauthen was sentenced to jail for six months (of which he served 3 months) for possession of a marijuana joint.[11][7]

Cauthen is nicknamed Big Velvet for his distinctive baritone voice.[3][30][31] "Big Velvet" is also a song on Room 41.[32]

Cauthen lives in Dallas.[33]

DiscographyEdit

Sons of FathersEdit

  • 2011: Sons Of Fathers (self-released)
  • 2012: Whiskey Christmas EP (self-released)
  • 2013: Burning Days (Blanco River Music)
  • 2014: "What Kind of Girl Are You" by Ray Charles single (self-released)
  • 2014: "Hell and Back" single (self-released)

Paul CauthenEdit

Title Album details Peak chart positions Sales
US
Country

[34]
US
Heat

[35]
US
Indie

[36]
My Gospel
  • Release date: October 14, 2016
  • Label: Lightning Rod Records
50
Have Mercy EP
  • Release date: June 22, 2018
  • Label: Lightning Rod Records
22
Room 41
  • Release date: September 6, 2019
  • Label: Lightning Rod Records
2 18
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Songwriter/Composer: Cauthen Paul Mark, Current Affiliation: BMI CAE/IPI #: 596003250". BMI.
  2. ^ a b c Liptak, Carena (6 September 2019). "Interview: Paul Cauthen Worked Through 'a Hollow Moment' to Create New Album 'Room 41'". The Boot.
  3. ^ a b c d e Martin, Michel; DeSoto, Dustin; Bowman, Emma; Ermyas, Tinbete (22 September 2019). "TexasCountry Rocker Paul Cauthen Preaches The Good, The Bad And The Prickly" (Includes audio interview). All Things Considered. NPR – via KERA (FM).
  4. ^ Maynard, Calvin (22 December 2017). "Concert-raffle event at Stanley's to benefit PATH". Tyler Morning Telegraph.
  5. ^ a b c d e Brooks, Chaz (18 July 2017). "Interview: Paul Cauthen talks influences, musical upbringing, touring, not getting married, his latest album, Cadillacs, God and timpani drums". Building Our Own Nashville.
  6. ^ a b Domenighini, Annalise (10 October 2016). "The Gospel According to Paul Cauthen". VICE.
  7. ^ a b c Lupetin, Z.; Cauthen, Paul (18 September 2019). "Episode 42: The Show on the Road – Paul Cauthen" (Audio podcast interview). The Bluegrass Situation.
  8. ^ a b c Mollotova, Molly (14 October 2016). "Paul Cauthen Cuts Out the Fat and Finds His Own Brand of Gospel". Dallas Observer.
  9. ^ a b c Gage, Jeff (19 June 2018). "Why Texas Troubadour Paul Cauthen Is Country Music's Wildman Preacher". Rolling Stone.
  10. ^ Moore, Rick (September 2019). "Portraits: Paul Cauthen, Walking Through the Fire". American Songwriter.
  11. ^ a b c Haupt, Melanie (29 March 2013). "'Burning Days' and nights with Sons of Fathers". The Austin Chronicle.
  12. ^ a b Smyers, Darryl (25 November 2013). "David Beck and Paul Cauthen of Sons of Fathers: "We've Had Some Crazy Experiences in Dallas"". Dallas Observer.
  13. ^ Mills, Rachel (December 2013). "Sons of Fathers". Steam Magazine.
  14. ^ a b Graham, William Harries (14 January 2014). "Sons of Fathers Residency". The Austin Chronicle.
  15. ^ a b Freeman, Doug (25 November 2016). "Paul Cauthen's Deep Country Gospel". The Austin Chronicle.
  16. ^ Wallace, Christian (30 January 2016). "Before the fire, after the flood: Friends remember Victor Holk". Lone Star Music Magazine.
  17. ^ Moss, Marissa R. (7 December 2016). "40 Best Country Albums of 2016". Rolling Stone.
  18. ^ Freeman, Jon (26 April 2018). "Hear Paul Cauthen's Haunting New Song 'Everybody Walkin' This Land'". Rolling Stone.
  19. ^ "Watch Live! Paul Cauthen Studio Session" (Video performance with interview). Austin American-Statesman. 5 September 2019 – via Facebook.
  20. ^ Nicholson, Jessica (26 June 2018). "Industry Ink: ACM, Anderson Benson, SOLID, Grand Ole Opry". MusicRow.
  21. ^ Naranjo, Jacqueline (26 June 2018). "Paul Cauthen's Opry Debut". Music Connection.
  22. ^ Dearmore, Kelly (19 June 2019). "Paul Cauthen's All About 'Cocaine Country Dancing' in His New Video". Dallas Observer.
  23. ^ Raggio, Eva (19 September 2019). "Announcing the 2019 Dallas Observer Music Awards Nominees". Dallas Observer.
  24. ^ Fletcher, David (30 August 2019). "Exclusive Premiere: Paul Cauthen's Video 'Prayed for Rain' Is an Ode to Hardscrabble Existence". Dallas Observer.
  25. ^ Bostick, Nicholas (16 May 2019). "Elaina Kay Is Ready to Express Herself in an Album Produced by Paul Cauthen". Dallas Observer.
  26. ^ Thurmond, Sarah (20 October 2017). "ACL Fest Q&A: Paul Cauthen". Austin Monthly.
  27. ^ Parton, Chris (22 January 2018). "See Cody Jinks, Paul Cauthen Sing Live 'Black Hole Sun' for Chris Cornell". Rolling Stone.
  28. ^ Hicks, Tyler (4 August 2017). "Cody Jinks and Paul Cauthen Take You to 'Luckenbach, Texas' with Waylon Jennings Cover". Dallas Observer.
  29. ^ Stecker, Liv (26 February 2018). "WATCH: Margo Price and Paul Cauthen Cover Lynn / Twitty Classic". The Boot.
  30. ^ Tingle, Lauren (12 September 2018). "Americana Week Descends on Nashville". CMT.
  31. ^ Hostetter, Alaena (November 2017). "Paul Cauthen Will Make You a Believer". D Magazine.
  32. ^ Ferguson, Maeri (4 September 2019). "Rock-bottom Reality Inhabits Paul Cauthen's 'Room 41'". No Depression.
  33. ^ Mooney, Thomas (September 12, 2019). "Paul Cauthen's 'Room 41' Resides In Between Vulnerability and Swagger". Texas Monthly.
  34. ^ "Paul Cauthen Chart History (Top Country Albums)". Billboard.
  35. ^ "Paul Cauthen Chart History (Heatseekers Albums)". Billboard.
  36. ^ "Paul Cauthen Chart History (Independent Albums)". Billboard.
  37. ^ Bjorke, Matt (October 21, 2019). "Top 10 Country Albums Sales Chart: October 21, 2019". RoughStock. Retrieved October 31, 2019.

External linksEdit