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Songbyrd Music House & Record Cafe
2477-2475 18th St NW, Washington, District of Columbia 20009
ON SALE 7/14!
— LiveNation Presents @ Songbyrd Music House
Paul Cauthen with Kelsey Waldon
Wednesday September 20, 2017
D: 7:00 // S: 8:00 PM
— The album is called My Gospel, but make no mistake: These are songs about Earthly struggles to love, connect, and just get by. «I'm not super religious,» Cauthen says. «I don't believe God is this guy wearing a white cloak who comes down with wings and beautiful sandals. I do believe that people are put into other people's lives for reasons, and those reasons are unexplained. I believe that is God.»
Americana music fans will remember Cauthen's name from Sons of Fathers, the raucous Texicana group he co-founded in 2011 with bassist David Beck. The band earned glowing praise from Rolling Stone, NPR, and others, thanks to two albums that climbed into the Top 10 of the Americana Music Chart. «We had just played a show with Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes, playing for 7,000 people,» Cauthen says. «And I quit. I just knew it wasn't where I was supposed to be anymore.»
That was three years ago — and the impetus for ending up in that apartment in Austin. Cauthen has since learned to channel his racing mind and rumbling baritone into the blues, gospel, and rock-and-roll that fuel My Gospel with gale-force power. Over the course of three years, Cauthen recorded the album in several different studios across the country: Willie Nelson's Arlyn Studios in Austin; FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals; Sargent Recorders in Los Angeles; Modern Electric Sound Recorders in Dallas. The result is a quintessentially American album unlike anything in recent memory. «We were going for timeless. We were going for righteous. Those were the two words that we focused on while we were recording,» Cauthen says. «That's it.»
Cauthen has been the strongest, loudest singer in the room for as long as he can remember. He grew up in Tyler, Texas, where his grandfather — a songwriter and gospel song leader originally from Lubbock who worked with artists including Buddy Holly, Sonny Curtis, and other Crickets — taught Cauthen and his two sisters to sing harmony. «He threw us all in the bathtub because it sounded really good in there,» Cauthen says with a laugh. Sundays and Wednesday evenings were spent at the Church of Christ, singing a cappella in the choir. «My granddad was all about music. He'd always ask people, 'Can you sing? What songs do you know?'» Cauthen lovingly imitates his grandfather as he shares the memory, changing his inflection to sound both excited and earnest.