Hailing from Tupelo, Mississippi, the birthplace of Elvis Presley, Paul Thorn proves that lightning does strike twice in the same place every once in a while. Composing an almost perfect anthem for the common working man, Thorn mixes it up with a variety of styles ranging from country-blues to zydeco boogie on Pimps and Preachers.
Appropriately named, Pimps and Preachers tends to avoid pledging total allegiance to either ‘Team Pimp’ or ‘Team Preacher’. It finds humanity, as it exists, right in the middle of God and the devil. I love the last few lyrics in ‘You’re Not the Only One’, the first selection on the album: “Life don’t come with a guarantee. You only get so many heartbeats. It’s such a blessing to be alive. Whatever happens I’m satisfied.”. These words are so true, and its nice to be reminded that every day is a blessing.
“Pimps and Preachers”, the title track, is one of the most interesting tracks, as Thorn describes the conflicting lessons he learned from his father the preacher, and his uncle, the polar opposite. I find there is also a pimp and preacher aspect to the musical portion of the song as well, as it mixes contemporary country with a funky R&B bass line.
I got tickled listening to ‘I Don’t Like Half the Folks I Love’, a bluesy song that poignantly reminds us that just because someone is loved, they don’t necessarily have to be liked. This is one of my favorite tracks. A couple of other favorites are ‘Better Days Ahead’, which has a certain Bruce Springsteen air to it‘s chorus, and ‘Nona Lisa’, a melody about pining for a gal with which he once had a one night stand.
Paul Thorn is an expert story teller/song writer. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this album from start to finish, and will enjoy it for years to come.
* Originally published on BluesRevue.com, Oct 2010