“Cocaine Country Dancing” by Paul Cauthen, from the album “Room 41”

All the songs on Paul Cauthen‘s just-announced forthcoming record, Room 41, were written during a dark, harrowing time in the artist’s personal life. None of its tracks, however, were written in a more manic and drug-fueled state than “Cocaine Country Dancing,” which readers can hear above.

“I had the hook of that song up in Wichita Falls, [Texas], at this old warehouse, with this weed dealer that I used to go buy weed from. He had an old drum set, like, with a mini keyboard and a loop station, all this stuff that I was messing with one day after I bought some weed from him,” Cauthen recalls to The Boot, adding that the early stages of the song were born during that impromptu riffing.

At the time, the singer was in the middle of what he describes as a “frenzy.” Following a calamitous breakup, Cauthen left the house where he’d been living in Wichita Falls, and moved into the Belmont Hotel in Dallas. He stayed in room 41, which serves as the title of his new album.

“Everything was about to be planned out for my life. I was gonna get married,” Cauthen continues. “Now, I went to being single and in a hotel room writing songs. You know, I was in some self-pity. I was acting like an idiot there for a minute, and I was dating a lot of different girls, just trying to find my heart again. I was in a hollow moment of my life.”

Songwriting became his therapy, Cauthen continues, and resulted in some of his most vulnerable and revealing tracks to date. In some cases — like in “Cocaine Country Dancing” — the degree of honesty in the lyrics makes Cauthen flinch a bit.

“I don’t like to have to tell my mom that the f–kin’ song is “Cocaine Country Dancing,” you know?” he interjects, “and talk to my mom and grandmother about this, about my drug frenzy and acting like an idiot. I went through some hospital visits. [I was] just pushing myself to the end, you know? Pushing myself to the max.”

Cauthen doesn’t harbor any delusions that this extreme lifestyle yielded better art. “Did bathing in all that despair and darkness help me musically? I don’t think so,” he admits. “I was on my route to get it done either way.”

Still, that period of living in extremes allowed him to take big chances in the songs he was writing. “It’s just that you don’t give a f–k,” Cauthen says of his mindset while writing the project. “You get sloppy drunk. You just don’t give a damn. That’s all just f–kin’ thrown out the window.

“I was just trying to get through it, and, honestly, I was reaching for a bigger sound the whole time … Like, ‘How am I gonna stand out? How is this gonna sound different than what everybody’s playing?'” he adds. “So I was reaching for what was left of center, rather than what was comfortable, and that led me down some other pathways sonically.”

thanks to The Boot

 

“Awake” by Shadowfields, from the album “Festival For One”

 

 

“Awake” begins Shadowfields’ absolutely amazing new release, “Festival For One”, an album full of the most brilliant songwriting and some of the best music, vocals, and vocal harmonies I have ever heard in my life! Heather Humphrey and Tom McKeown put their hearts and their talents into this awesome release and it truly shows, paying off in dividends!

And let’s not forget the rest of this incredible band! Jim Livas, Tony Meadors, and Gary Jacklin. All amazing and gifted musicians. I also need to mention the wonderful album artwork of Aeden Kurt Humphrey. Truly spectacular!

“Hurricane” by Esoebo, from the album “Esoebo VI”

ESOEBO – the name is an acronym for “Eclectic Selections Of Everything But Opera”

 

 

ESOEBO turns more serious with the emotionally engaging “Hurricane,” which has a darker, more somber tone. I’m particularly fond of Gail’s work on cello on this track, but this one also features what I think is Chuck’s best vocal performance of the album. “Looking back when it’s too late/Got to move, can’t hesitate/And I’m leaning into the eye/Well, I’m praying I don’t die.” His delivery has an honesty, a straight-forward aspect that is effective.

“Dark Woods” by Mean Mary, from the album “Cold”

As you all know Mean Mary is up at the top of our favorite artists, you might not know she has a new album out in October and is busy on the next one with a Band!

Enjoy this video.  Dark Woods is on Mean Mary’s upcoming album, Cold. Pre-order now at https://meanmary.com/cold

 

Mary must be really really good because my boy loves her and his taste is impeccable when it comes to music, not so good when it comes to women. 

“On the Water” by Josh Ritter, from the album “Fever Breaks”

 

The notion of being drawn to another is also present in the nimbly fingerpicked, steel and piano accompanied On The Water (“I’m drawn to you., honey, like the sea to the fisherman’s daughter”), although this time the attraction is more positive (“I’ll be around it don’t matter what the others offer”), reaching out a helping hand when “you’re in-between nothing but thin air and the unknown”, although the object of affection has to make the choice.

“Gotta Get Up” by Tomato/Tomato, from the album “Canary in a Coal Mine”

Four hundred fifty miles of hard Nebraska dirt 
Where the earth and sky embrace and the clouds do all the work. 
I’m running to the mountains, gonna hide out in the hills. 
I’m sick of politicians and the walls their lies have built. 

I miss those Sunday mornings of my early childhood. 
Where we learned to love each other and charity was good. 
Now they’re preaching fear and hate, ’cause love won’t fill the seats. 
So I’m looking for salvation above ten thousand feet. 

Gotta get up – above the crowd. 
It’s wild and it’s savage, I’m not taking any chances. 
Gotta get up – before I drown. 
Gotta get up ’cause I feel it coming down. 

It feels like there’s a reckoning brewing in the clouds. 
If forty days of rain should come, we’ll all need higher ground. 
Don’t look for me in Kansas, don’t look in Tennessee. 
I’ll be in the Rocky Mountains, praying on my knees. 

Gotta get up – above the crowd. 
It’s wild and it’s savage, I’m not taking any chances. 
Gotta get up – before I drown. 
Gotta get up ’cause I feel it coming down. 

I was naive to think that bigotry was frozen in the past. 
A display in some museum, safe behind the glass. 
But it’s alive and it is strong, and it’s marching in the streets. 
How n we tell our children, now it’s theirs….now it’s theirs to defeat? 

Gotta get up – above the crowd. 
It’s wild and it’s savage, I’m not taking any chances. 
Gotta get up – before I drown. 
Gotta get up ’cause I feel it coming down. 

Gotta get up – above the crowd. 
It’s wild and it’s savage, I’m not taking any chances. 
Gotta get up – before I drown. 
Gotta get up ’cause I feel it coming down.

credits

from Canary in a Coal Mine, released March 1, 2019 
John McLaggan- Vocals, Guitar 
Lisa McLaggan- Vocals, Percussion 
Jon Estes- Bass, Piano, Organ 
Jeremy Fetzer- Guitars 
Jon Radford- Drums 
Spencer Cullum- Lap Steel 
Kris Karlsson- Banjoca