Album Review: Paul Cauthen - “Country Coming Down”

One of the most-interesting country albums to be released the past few years with songs that get stuck in your brain.

Paul Cauthen isn’t for the faint of heart. His music is basically “outlaw meets funk.” his booming baritone certainly rests easily in the outlaw sound of Cash and Jennings and while some, who haven’t listened to Paul Cauthen before, might classify him as a cousin of Wheeler Walker Jr’s country comedy act, Paul Cauthen isn’t that. He’s vocal about his kind of outlaw music and is unafraid to discuss interlopers who don’t make the kind of music he does, or maybe not as genuinely made. It’s an interesting way to go and one which suits Cauthen well.

There is definitely a little sass to his music as opener “Country As Fuck” suggests. But it’s tongue firmly in cheek too. It’s a humor many artists have had in the past, even if it’s more in your face than some would like. “Country Club” feels like a long lost The Tractors cut (honestly, it’s better than anything they put out at the height of the Wildhorse Saloon country line dance craze).

By leaning into that booming voice of his (at times it has echoes of BOTH Johnny and Waylon), Paul Cauthen has found himself something authentic, even if there’s a little a bit of that knowing wink in some of his lyrics. “Caught Me At A Good Time and “Toll the Day I Die” are definite highlights as is the rollicking “Fuck You Money.” That voice works well within the sonic template found on Country Coming Down and creates a lane that is distinctly his own. This one is fun and deserves all the attention it gets.