Simple Truths And Charm With A Punch: Paul Thorn

For some reason, I had never seen Paul Thorn play live. Oh, I was familiar with his music, at least with a handful of songs especially. I thought I knew about Paul Thorn — his paintings, former boxing career, his colorful nature, that sort of thing. But boy am I glad that a good friend of mine wanted to drive some 250 miles just to catch him play in my home town earlier this year. That got me to thinking about Paul Thorn as an obvious fit for this series, and is he ever. There is so much more to Paul Thorn than I knew before meeting him and researching for this episode, and it is all quite entertaining and unique. There is way more than can be contained in the forty two minutes of this podcast, really, but it is at least a good start.

Paul Thorn  playing with his band at the  Don Gibson Theatre  in Shelby, NC 03/06/20

Paul Thorn playing with his band at the Don Gibson Theatre in Shelby, NC 03/06/20

Paul Thorn speaks at length about how confronting fear is central to his character, about growing up in Tupelo, Mississippi and going to the Pentecostal church where his father preached, how he likes music that is simple but universal, his habit of scouring flea markets and  yard sales, and much more. In this episode you will also hear from Angela Backstrom, music promoter and collector of vintage Western wear, my friend Jeff Williams, who planted the seed for this podcast, and of course, lots of music from Paul and his band.

Songs by Paul Thorn heard in this episode:

“Everybody Needs Somebody” live from the Don Gibson Theatre 03/06/20 (excerpt)

“I Don’t Like Half The Folks I Love” live from the Don Gibson Theatre 03/06/20

“Pimps & Preachers” live from the Don Gibson Theatre 03/06/20 (excerpt)

“800 Pound Jesus” from Hammer and Nail Live (excerpt)

“Mood Ring” from So Far So Good Live (excerpt)

“Mission Temple Fireworks Stand” from Mission Temple Fireworks Stand (excerpt)

I hope you enjoy this episode, and that you will subscribe to this series on your podcast platform of choice, and give it a good rating and a review. Great ratings, and reviews especially, will make Southern Songs and Stories and the artists it profiles more visible to more people just like you. Southern Songs and Stories is produced in partnership with public radio station WNCW and Osiris Media, and you can find us on Apple/iTunes here, on Stitcher here, and Spotify here. Our theme songs are by Joshua Meng, with a link to his music here. Thanks for listening! – Joe Kendrick