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Steamboat Magazine

Paul Cauthen on his warmest outfit for WinterWonderGrass, who he loves drinking tequila with and how to be yourself

02/07/2024 02:33PM ● By Sophie Dingle
(Photo: Paul Cauthen performs during the 2023 Steamboat Springs WinterWonderGrass Festival. Photo courtesy of Molly McCormick.)

Steamboat Springs, CO - Steamboat Magazine is interviewing the bands and artists who make up this year’s 11th annual WinterWonderGrass festival in Steamboat Springs, March 1-3. This year, Paul Cauthen is back. 

Steamboat Magazine: You’re back for year two! What were some of your highlights or favorite memories from last year?
Paul Cauthen: Playing music in the snow to a bunch of people in ski goggles is a vibe, you know? It’s like you’re on another planet. It’s always so fun because you have to look at body language over eyes and smiles. It’s just a snow party. I love it. And I loved running into Vince Herman from Leftover Salmon and kicking it with him.

SM: Who are you looking forward to seeing this year? 
PC: Sierra’s my girl! The Infamous Stringdusters…this is gonna be good. Andy Frasco’s my dear friend. It's gonna be a party. Good friends playing music up on the snow hill and I can't wait. 

SM: I saw that you’re playing at WinterWonderGrass Tahoe too – so you must be a fan of WinterWonderGrass – what do you like? 
PC: I think I’m WinterWonderGrass-ing across the country this year. It feels like everybody’s just friends and everyone is enjoying the time instead of figuring out how to make money. It kinda feels like you threw it together but it was done well. The staff is always stoked. I remember when we were pulling up last year, there was a huge piece of ice and four of the guys were sliding down it like kids. Everyone is just smiling and laughing and having a good time. It feels family oriented rather than commercial. I tried a bunch of microbrews last year that I had never had and I drank tequila with Vince Herman for a while and he’s a riot. I love that man. 

SM: I get the sense that you’re very much your own performer and have your own style – do you draw on other artists for inspiration? 
PC: Tina Turner and James Brown usually. If I can be 1% of what they brought to a stage, I'm kicking ass. It's about letting yourself go and enjoying the music. Don't choreograph yourself so much but just fall into the music. It's like when you're a kid and you sing with the hairbrush into the mirror and you're singing as loud as you can and you don’t care. Learning how to do that live…you still got your hairbrush but everyone’s singing with you. Whatever happens, happens. Let the music lead the way and all that. If I get too heady about what I look like and sound like, it's not honest. When I dance…it's like I watch it after and I'm like good gosh, big boy can move. 

SM: We all loved your outfit last year, which was a Kum & Go hat paired with a leather jacket and sweatpants. 
PC: I threw that together; I didn’t have a stylist, believe it or not! I’m from east Texas; that's the warmest outfit I have.

SM: Tell us about your new song, “25 Tequilas.”
PC: I wanted to throw a fastball into country music and do a song that I felt like was funny, fun and a party song. At first, the song was annoyingly bothering me – I couldn’t tell if I loved it and wanted to keep singing it, or hated it and never wanted to hear it again. But it was the Rudy of the football field and it never gave up on me. This is one of the cheesiest songs that I've ever put out in my life and I love it. You don't have to be all serious and have a huge hit. It can be fun too. It’s four minutes - if you don't like it, go get yourself a beer.

SM: You mentioned country music, but would you call yourself a country singer? 
PC: I just call myself Paul Cauthen. People ask me about genre all the time and it's the hardest question to answer. It changes every day. I like a wide array of music so some of my influences will bleed into jazz or rap or funk. I like things that make you move and feel, most importantly. I call it good old boy music from east Texas and you never know what you're going to get.

For tickets to this year’s WinterWonderGrass festival in Steamboat Springs, CO, visit