Paul Thorn


Releases: The Best of Paul Thorn (2016), Too Blessed to be Stressed (2014), What the Hell is Going On? (2012), Pimps and Preachers (2010), A Long Way From Tupelo (2008), Mission Temple Fireworks Stand (2002), Hammer and Nail (1997)
Years at MusicFest: 5

Paul Thorn’s new album Too Blessed to be Stressed stakes out new territory for the popular roots-rock songwriter. The album is a rocking celebration of the simple joys of life, done with Thorn’s unflagging belief in the inherent goodness of the human heart. Thorn has gained the following of his many fans thanks to his down-home perspective, vivid-yet-plainspoken language and colorful characters. It helps that Thorn has a colorful and distinctly Southern personality himself. He was raised in Tupelo, Mississippi, in the land of cotton, catfish, and churches. “My father was a preacher, so I went with him to churches that white people attended and churches that black people attended,” Thorn says. “The white people sang gospel like country music, and the black people sang gospel like it was rhythm and blues.” Thorn found his sound somewhere in between the two. His performances were generally limited to the pews until he found his voice at the sixth grade talent show. A few years later, Thorn met songwriter Billy Maddox, who became his friend and mentor. It would take several detours – working in a furniture factory, boxing, jumping out of airplanes – until Thorn committed to the singer-songwriter’s life. But through it all, he and Maddox remained friends, and Maddox became Thorn’s songwriting partner and co-producer. Since he first set foot on the stage, Thorn possessed the ability to charm his audience right from the downbeat. Not only with his music, but with the colorful and insightful stories he tells from the stage.

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