Underdog of the Week, Paul Thorn

Quote of the Day:

The song says ‘Hank Williams was in the darkness when he sang I Saw the Light. I believe there’s good in everyone, I hope I’m doing this right’,” Thorn reflects. “I was talking to somebody the other day about this and they said, ‘As big an alcoholic and a screw-up as Hank Williams was, how did he ever write a song that beautiful?’ And I said, ‘He was able to write it because he was an alcoholic and a screw-up. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have even recognized where the darkness and light were.”

Mojo Nixon interviewed Paul Thorn last week on satellite radio and TB was lucky to be in the car for a long drive where I could enjoy the crazy turns of Mojo fueled conversation. I also got to hear several tracks off Thorn’s newest album “Pimps and Preachers.” XM channel 12 introduced me to Paul Thorn, a Tupelo, Mississippi native, several years ago and I’ve always dug his tunes. After hearing the interview, I got interested in the man, and I decided his story was worthy of recognition as my Underdog of the Week.

Thorn releases his albums under his own label. That can’t be easy. He’s become a major player in the Americana music scene in spite of lacking a big record deal. In addition to his songwriting and performance talents, he is an artist and a modern-day philosopher with a particular talent for insightful observation of the world around us. If that isn’t cool enough for you, how about that he came to an entertainment career only after serving 6 years in the National Guard, then working in a furniture factory, and all the while pursuing a legitimate professional boxing career? He once went 6 rounds with a just past his prime Roberto Duran. The headline in the New York Post read, “Duran Survives Bloodbath.”

It’s not a path in life I’d choose, but this man hasn’t been cheated of his time here so far. It doesn’t look like he’s finished trying new things and getting the most out of his present and future either. I admire what he’s already accomplished and I look forward to hearing more of his music. Mostly I take inspiration from what I see as a fearless pursuit of greatness.

There’s plenty more scoop on Paul Thorn at his website including two free song downloads if you want to get a taste of his music.

About travellinbaen

I'm a 40 year old lawyer living in Ridgeland, Mississippi. I'm several years and a couple hundred miles removed from most of my old running buddies so I started the blog to provide an outlet for many of the observations and ideas that used to be the subjects of our late night/happy hour/halftime conversations and arguments.
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