North College Street
7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 7, 2012
Paul Thorn Band
Among those who value originality, inspiration, eccentricity, and character – as well as talent that hovers somewhere on the outskirts of genius, the story of Paul Thorn is already familiar. Born in Tupelo, Mississippi and raised among the same spirits (and some of the actual people) who nurtured a young Elvis generations before, Thorn has rambled down back roads and jumped out of airplanes, worked for years in a furniture factory, battled four-time world champion boxer Roberto Durán on national television, signed with and been dropped by a major label, opened for Bonnie Raitt, Mark Knopfler, and John Prine among many other headliners, and made some of the most emotionally restless yet fully accessible music of our time.
Paul Thorn took an unexpected detour on the road to recording a follow-up to his most successful release, 2010's Pimps and Preachers. After writing many discs of semi-autobiographical tunes that have drawn comparisons to John Hiatt and John Prine, the critically acclaimed singer/songwriter -- hailed as the "Mark Twain of Americana" -- decided to do an album of covers. "I wanted to take a break from myself," Thorn reveals, "do something different, and just have fun."
The new collection album, entitled What The Hell Is Goin' On? (due out May 8th, 2012) finds Thorn putting his own gritty rock stamp on some of his favorite songs. There are some names familiar to Americana fans (Buddy Miller, Ray Wylie Hubbard), some lesser-known (Foy Vance, Wild Bill Emerson) and some surprises. The Buckingham and Nicks tune "Don't Let Me Down Again" originated on that duo's debut, not during the Fleetwood Mac era, while the Paul Rogers/ Free song that Thorn chose to cover is an obscure one, "Walk In My Shadow."
Tickets start at $19.50