Paul Cauthen certainly had a time of it while living in Room 41 of The Belmont Hotel in Dallas, Texas. Careening between wildly prolific songwriting sessions and wild drinking sessions, he credits his musical collaborators for helping him through.
Ten of the the songs he wrote in Room 41 made it to his forthcoming album of the same name, and the recordings feature respected Texan musicians such as Matt Pence (Jason Isbell, Nikki Lane), Beau Bedford and Jason Burt. Like his former lifestyle, his music careens wildly between country, R&B, soul, funk and gospel, with a dash of schmaltz for good measure. Think Gnarls Barkley crossed with Prince and Roy Orbison!
Take Cocaine Country Dancing, for example. The honky-tonk influenced track showcases the baritone voice that has prompted his friends to call him “Big Velvet,” a persona he embraces and interrogates on one of the album tracks.
Holy Ghost Fire has another cinematic video and hints at Cauthen’s recurring Biblical themes of lust, envy, pride, destruction and redemption. As the grandson of a fourth generation preacher, he grew up surrounded by that imagery, but for Paul Cauthen the dramatic lyrics come straight from lived experience.
The video was directed and produced by Gus Black (Sheryl Crow, Goo Goo Dolls) and features Eric Edelstein from Drunk History, Shameless (U.S.) and Jurassic World.
Head to Cauthen’s website foralbum pre-sale information and to find out why Rolling Stone called him “one of the most fascinating , and eccentric, new voices in country music.”
Room 41 will be released on September 6 on Nashville’s Lightning Rod Records.
Follow me for more reviews, news and photos!