Paul Thorn Band plays Grass Valley Wednesday
WHO: The Center for the Arts presents
WHAT: Paul Thorn Band
WHEN: Wednesday, July 27, 8 p.m.
WHERE: The Center for the Arts
314 W Main St., Grass Valley
$27 member, $30 non members.
The Center Box Office - 530-274-8384 ext 14
BriarPatch Co-op Community Market - 530-272-5333
Tickets online at http://www.thecenterforthearts.org
“Paul is one of my favorite artists,Talk about somebody with a powerful live performance. He’s funny, he’s funky, he’s sexy, he’s witty and he’s a great songwriter. He’s the perfect double bill for me. I love the energy. I figure he’s gonna grease the pan for me.” — Bonnie Raitt.
“Paul Thorn is a rare and addictive mixture of soul, wit, humor and musicality.” — Mark Knopfler
“To me he’s a great performer. I love his stage thing. It’s just cool, he’s personal, friendly. You just feel comfortable around him.” — Robert Earl Keen.
Paul Thorn’s new album, “Too Blessed To Be Stressed,” stakes out new territory for the popular roots-rock songwriter and performer.
“In the past, I’ve told stories that were mostly inspired by my own life,” says Thorn, a former prizefighter and literal son of a preacher man. “This time, I’ve written 10 songs that express more universal truths, and I’ve done it with a purpose: to make people feel good.”
Which explains numbers like the acoustic-electric charmer “Rob You of Your Joy,” where Thorn’s warm peaches-and-molasses singing dispenses advice on avoiding the pitfalls of life. The title track borrows its tag from a familiar saying among the members of the African-American Baptist churches Thorn frequented in his childhood.
“I’d ask, ‘How you doin’, sister?’ And what I’d often hear back was, ‘I’m too blessed to be stressed.’” In the hands of Thorn and his faithful band, who’ve been together 20 years, the tune applies its own funky balm, interlacing a percolating drum and keyboard rhythm with the slinky guitar lines beneath his playful banter.
Thorn’s trademark humor is abundant throughout the album, which will be released August 19, 2014 on Perpetual Obscurity/Thirty Tigers. “Backslide on Friday” is a warm-spirited poke at personal foibles. “I promised myself not to write about me, but I did on ‘Backslide,’” Thorn relates. The chipper pop tune is a confession about procrastination, sweetened by Bill Hinds’ slide guitar and Thorn’s gently arching melody. “But,” Thorn protests, “I know I’m not the only one who says he’s gonna diet and just eat Blue Bell vanilla ice cream on Sundays, and then ends up eating it every day!”
“Mediocrity Is King” takes a wider swipe, at our culture’s hyper-drive addiction to celebrity artifice and rampant consumerism. But like “Everything Is Gonna Be All Right,” a rocking celebration of the simple joys of life, it’s done with Thorn’s unflagging belief in the inherent goodness of the human heart.
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