Before he became a singer-songwriter, Tupelo, Mississippi native Paul Thorn was a middleweight boxer who one time fought champion Roberto Duran. The story has nothing to do with Thorn’s subsequent musical career, but as far as ice-breakers go, they don’t get much better than that.
“Just trying to hit him was so hard,” said Thorn, who fought Duran for six rounds before the referee ended the bout in Duran’s favor. “It was almost like he read my mind.”
Perhaps more relevant to Thorn’s emergence as a musical artist was his upbringing in Tupelo, the birthplace of Elvis Presley, and the fact that he was singing in a church run by his dad, a Pentecostal minister, at the age of 3.
That, more than anything, contributed to what he would become: a bluesy, rocking, Southern-style musician with a gift for making people laugh. A formidable guitarist, Thorn shares personal stories and universal truths through his deeply honest songwriting. His authentic lyrics come from a varied life full of experiences, including working in a furniture factory, and jumping out of airplanes.
Thorn’s latest release, “Too Blessed to be Stressed,” reflects his philosophy as an entertainer and showman. “In the past, I’ve told stories that were mostly inspired by my own life,” said Thorn. “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.”
The Paul Thorn Band will be performing on Saturday, November 19 at the Webb Center. This will be Thorn’s first performance in Wickenburg, although he’s played at the Musical Instrument Museum and other Arizona venues.
To see a video preview of The Paul Thorn Band click here.