Southern Songs and Stories - Paul Thorn: Simple Truths and Charm With A Punch

Jun 22, 2020

From WNCW Program Director Joe Kendrick: You will never be bored when it comes to Paul Thorn. Whether it’s his life story, his conversations, or his main gig, music, there’s nothing run of the mill about any of it. None of it is what you would call normal, but at the same time, everything about him has a wide appeal and relatability. There’s the surface level of what seems like a carnival show, but pretty quickly it’s obvious that, deeper down, there’s a profound love for humanity, a rare level of self-awareness, wit and intelligence in everything he does. He manages to be the center of attention in almost every room he’s in, but also completely open and approachable. “I just always try to be myself,” he once said. “That ain’t gonna make everyone happy. But if you make everybody happy, you must be kind of a boring person.”

Paul Thorn spoke with us at length about how confronting fear is central to his character, about growing up in Tupelo, Mississippi and going to the Pentecostal church where his father preached, how he likes music that is simple but universal, his habit of scouring flea markets and yard sales, and much more. In this episode you will also hear from Angela Backstrom, music promoter and collector of vintage Western wear, and of course, lots of music from Paul and his band.