Country star Paul Cauthen’s strong voice and Southern anthems will hit the stage Wednesday at Proud Larry’s. Cauthen will take the spotlight to perform his full-length solo debut album, “My Gospel.”
He gave insight into how his album got its name, recalling a bet he made with God after a long weekend in Austin, Texas. He said he felt at the end of the road and dared God to use him in any way possible.
“I said, ‘Use me. I’ll be a rag doll. Just put me out there, let’s go. I dare you,’” Cauthen recalls on his website.
Little did he know, out of that dare would come the spectacular blend of raw emotion and harmony found in his deep country baritone pitch, and eventually his album “My Gospel.”
The album was produced on Lightning Rod Records, complete with 11 songs, all of which Cauthen co-wrote. He said he remembers collaborating with the people closest to him and writing alongside his friends, whom he describes as his “favorite songwriting buddies.”
Even with a name like “My Gospel,” Cauthen admits he’s “not super religious.”
“I don’t believe God is this guy wearing a white cloak who comes down with wings and beautiful sandals,” Cauthen said. “I do believe that people are put into other people’s lives for reasons, and those reasons are unexplained. I believe that is God.”
Singing has been etched into Cauthen’s life and identity for as long as he can remember. He grew up a country boy in Tyler, Texas. His grandfather was a songwriter and gospel singer who taught Cauthen and his siblings to sing harmony from a young age. Cauthen credits his grandfather for his love of music and his childhood memories of singing in weekly church choirs as his motivation to stick with singing.
His lifelong Texas twang is clear in his distinct voice. Cauthen tried many different jobs and lifestyles before finding the one he knew he was meant to pursue: being a solo country singer.
“I don’t know what else I’m supposed to do in life,” Cauthen said. “So I just kept on working. Even when I didn’t hardly have money to eat, my songs allowed me to get into the studios. I wrote my way into this thing.”
He co-founded the Texas group Sons of Fathers in 2011. The group consisted of Cauthen and friend David Beck, both from Texas. Even with great reviews and two albums in the top 10 on the American Music Chart, Cauthen quit the group, knowing it wasn’t where he was meant to be.
“We had just played a show with Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, playing for 7,000 people,” Cauthen said. “And I quit. I just knew it wasn’t where I was supposed to be anymore.”
That is just one of the many reasons this album is both a personal and artistic accomplishment for Cauthen. Cauthen has spent the years since the duo broke up focusing on his solo career and dedicating his life to making music with meaning. He channeled both his raw voice and vulnerable emotions to create his first solo album.
“On this album, I wanted to push a message that tells people that life’s short. Love the ones you’re with. Just take any opportunity to run with it – don’t think twice.”
The doors will open at 8 p.m. with the show starting at 9 p.m. Tickets range from $8 to $10.