The first album by the former Sons Of Fathers man is more than just a vehicle for his powerful vocals
Having departed from his former group, Sons Of Fathers, Paul Cauthen returned to his Texan home unsure of his next move. Over a three-year period he rediscovered both his voice and calling, and now returns with a debut solo record that was recorded in legendary studios such as FAME, Modern Electric Sound Recorders and Willie Nelson’s Arlyn Studios in Austin. Appropriately, considering the album’s title, My Gospel is infused with a whole lot of soul to complement the little bit of country.
Cauthen’s swoony croon is reminiscent of RCA-era Elvis, with hints of Waylon Jennings. From its swaggering entrance on Still Drivin’, it’s this voice that is the immediate star of the show, supported by a smooth J.J. Cale-style guitar and some sugary backing vocals. On Grand Central he pleads, “Lord if you can hear me I could surely use some help,” with a his suffering is all too apparent. “The only one that’s hurting is me,” he concludes.
Whatever style he adopts, be it a Johnny Cash-influenced ballad such as Let It Burn or the title track with its uplifting choir, Cauthen is able to fit his voice to the music without being overly dominating. The grand production style works in harmony with him and helps reinforce his message. Having been out in the wilderness, Paul Cauthen is full of hope again.
Verdict: Soulful redemption