My Gospel by Paul Cauthen on Lightning Rod Records
Reviewed by Harry Kaplan
I have to admit, this didn’t hit me immediately. I am glad I tried to listen a few more times because I finally started to adore this album. Good things come to those who wait, say the proverb. It must be true, it sure is in this case. Part classic country, part folk rock, and part rhythm and blues. Sounds a bit like early Springsteen at times also. Whatever the ratio or mix is, this album works and is a keeper. Paul’s baritone voice took a few listens to let it sink in and now I can’t get enough. Did I mention good things come to those who wait?
As I am listening now, there are two songs that have totally captivated me. I can feel my heart strings being played as I listen to Be There Soon (Track 8). This is straight up rhythm and blues, right down to the heavenly gospel style background singers. Kind of reminds me a little of Joe Cocker’s version of With A Little Help From My Friends. The backing vocals are totally awe inspiring. There is a couple of nice pedal steel parts that completely work in this number. He appears to be singing to a lover about turning his life around. He says he will be there soon. This is one of the more touching and feeling laden songs I have heard in a very long time.
So on to the next number, which just happens to be the next track, Hanging Out On The Line. It is another soul number and works perfectly after Be There Soon. Another song where Cauthen’s emotion filled voice completely captivates me. This song seems to be about gaining the love of a woman and expressing the painful emotions that go along with that time before you become a couple. Cauthen expertly describes those feelings, both in words and singing style. It is so powerful that you can actually feel those emotions and feelings of uncertainty and apprehension.
Well another one to add to the growing collection. This took me a while, but I arrived. Sometimes, there is a paradise at the end of a long road. I found it here!