45. Pure Nashville is Nashville at the table: Paul Cauthen sings for his dinner.

Above: Singer and songwriter Paul Cauthen plays an impromptu set of songs for friends over dinner and drinks at The Standard Club in downtown Nashville, February 2018.

Although it is not entirely factual, it can be said that no song is ever born on stage (though every song evolves on stage for sure–if it makes it that far. Most don’t). Songs are born in secret places, down inside a person. Songs are personal–even if they are later performed by pairs and crowds.

Between that invisible place where the song begins and the public stage where songs hope to be, there is the place among friends where the song is first shared.

In a city like Nashville there is a lot of sharing of songs at tables.

On this night in February Paul is riding a wave of recent reviews from outlets like Rolling Stone Magazine hailing him as a grand new voice in country music. And as much as the stage is taking up more and more of Paul’s time, at this moment the table still holds him and he says he is happy to be here playing as much as anywhere else.

We were just having dinner and conversation. Paul was talking about what he had been working on. He was headed to a friend’s house later that night to record so he had his guitar with him. Someone asked if he minded playing a song. The guitar came out and it became part concert part songwriting session.

It was pure Nashville. Nashville at the table.

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