Building off the success of the troubadour’s breakout debut ‘My Gospel,’ which found itself on a slew of year-end lists, ‘Have Mercy’ pushes Cauthen’s songwriting to new heights as he searches for common ground and peace of mind in an increasingly polarized world.
“I’m a singer not a preacher, but these songs are my sermon,” says Cauthen, who writes with a unique blend of Biblical and modern vernacular, a style he likely picked up from his grandfather, a pastor. “We’re ripping each other apart out there, and forgiveness and mercy are what’s going to get us through. I want to use my voice the best I can to spread that message while I’m here on this Earth.”
With an underlying sense of levity and brotherhood, the album begins with the ominous chain gang percussion of “Everybody Walking This Land,” a righteous tune that thunders with authority. On the funky “Resignation,” he learns to appreciate the present, while the playful Jerry Reed-meets-Elvis Presley shuffle of “My Cadillac” finds bliss in the simplicity of joyriding with friends, and the epic, horn-and-string laden “In Love With A Fool” pays tribute to the partners who keep the home fires burning while their lovers are out chasing dreams on the road.
The title track “Have Mercy” lands like a secular hymn for a country still coming to terms with the deep wounds of its bloody past and divided present, while ‘Lil Son’ lifts straight from generations of family teachings. Overall, the album crosses cultures and creeds, speaking to truths that are bigger than any particular faith, reminding us a little love goes a long way.
Produced and cowritten with Beau Bedford, the album was recorded live at Modern Electric in Dallas, capturing all the raucous passion of the stage without sacrificing any of the nuance and sophistication the songwriting demanded. Fortified by contributions from The Texas Gentlemen, a 21st century Wrecking Crew of all-star musicians that’s backed everyone from Leon Bridges to Kris Kristofferson, the album is a plea for kindness and grace, both internally and externally.
‘Have Mercy’ tracklist:
1. Everybody Walkin’ This Land (Cauthen, Beau Bedford)
2. Resignation (Cauthen, Bedford)
3. Have Mercy (Cauthen, Daniel Creamer, Nik Lee)
4. Lil Son (Cauthen)
5. My Cadillac (Cauthen, Creamer, Lee)
6. Tumbleweed (Cauthen, David Beck)
7. In Love With A Fool (Cauthen, Dan Dyer)
Paul Cauthen on tour:
Sun., Apr. 29 / Stagecoach Festival / Indio, CA
Mon., Apr. 30 / The Roxy Theatre / West Hollywood, CA **SOLD OUT**
Fri., May 25 / Hot Luck Food & Music Festival / Austin, TX
Fri., Jun. 15 / Brazos Nights Concert Series / Waco, TX*
Wed., Jun. 27 / Tower Theatre / Oklahoma City, OK*
Thurs., Jun. 28 / Cain’s Ballroom / Tulsa, OK*
Fri., Jun. 29 / White Oak Music Factory / Houston, TX*
Sat., Jun. 30 / The Bomb Factory / Dallas, TX*
Fri., Aug. 3 / Pendarvis Farm / Happy Valley, OR
Thurs., Aug. 9 / Harrah’s Resort Social / Funner, CA