Artist: Paul Thorn
Album: Best of Paul Thorn
Label: Perpetual Obscurity Records
Release Date: 12/09/2016
You gotta love an unabashed, fire-breathing, life-living guy who rattles the gutbucket at will and unashamedly proclaims “I Don’t Like Half the Folks I Love” while plotting to “Burn Down the Trailer Park” because he can’t find his cheatin’ old lady.
Damn, I had a great time refreshing my short knowledge of Thorn with these two discs. Cast from the same cynical/realist/cautious optimist mold as Lyle Lovett and Randy Newman, Thorn’s musical muscularity doesn’t stray far from rock and blues, but it pounds at you and sticks to your ribs like very few others.
No fuss. No muss. Thorn’s down-to-earth music hits the home and the heart with equal punches of humility, bravado and humanity. Standout tracks include: “What Have You Done to Lift Somebody Up,” “I Hope I’m Doin’ This Right,” “I Backslide on Friday,” “Old Stray Dog and Jesus,” “Hammer and Nail” and the diabolically crafty, “She Won’t Cheat On Us.”
– Mike Jurkovic