New York, NY (Top40 Charts)
Don't Let the Devil Ride, Paul Thorn's collection of soulful songs originally recorded by black southern gospel groups, was co-produced by Billy Maddox and Colin Linden and recorded in 3 legendary locations: Sam Phillips Recording in Memphis, FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, and Preservation Hall in New Orleans. Don't Let The Devil Ride features contributions from the Blind Boys of Alabama, The McCrary Sisters, the Preservation Hall Jazz Horns and Bonnie Bishop. Today, Thorn releases the album's lead single "Love Train," a gospel reimagining of The O'Jay's classic hit which debuted this morning on Billboard.
"The message in ["Love Train
"], what it's saying is so relevant to the times we're living in 'cause there's so many things dividing everybody," Thorn told Billboard. "If everybody would listen to the words of this song and live by those words it would fix everything. It's a song about loving everybody. That's something worth singing about."
Don't Let The Devil Ride is now available for pre-order on iTunes and Amazon with "Love Train
" as an instant grat. "Love Train
" is also available on Spotify and all other streaming platforms.
After a dozen roots-rock records, Paul Thorn reclaims his past by celebrating the first music he was ever exposed to. Don't Let the Devil Ride combines strong influences stemming from Paul's life experiences and his earliest musical influence: gospel. Thorn spent his youth singing in his father's Pentecostal church. But his most memorable musical experiences were at an African American branch of his father's church, the Okolona Sunrise Church of Prophecy. "There might be ten people playing the tambourine, but the rhythm was locked in, and they'd let me play bass. I loved the Appalachian gospel of my parents' church, but it was a treat to play with those musicians." It's a good thing the music he heard there moved him, because he was forbidden to listen to popular music.
As a teen, Thorn acquired two records - by Elton John
and Huey Lewis - but hid them in his closet so his father wouldn't find them. He got away with his un-churchlike ways until the day he was "disfellowshipped" by his father and the deacons when they discovered Paul had slept with his girlfriend. After stints in a chair factory, the National
Guard, and as a boxer (including a match with Roberto Duran), Paul's music career was jump-started when he met Billy Maddox, who led him to write for the legendary Rick Hall, owner of FAME Studios, where Thorn cut his first demos. So, in another way, this album is about Thorn returning to where he began.
Many tracks on this record are lesser-known gospel chestnuts released by small Mississippi and Alabama
labels in the late 1950s-70s and are typical of the sound that was heard on local radio stations or tentside revivals in that era. One exception is the most well-known track on the album, the O'Jays' famous single "Love Train." But it perfectly frames the album's theme of love and inclusion. "This is the culmination of my whole life in music, coming back to my gospel roots," says Thorn about Don't Let the Devil Ride. "My message on this record is 'let's get together' - I want to help lighten your load and make you smile."
Don't Let the Devil Ride tracklist:
1. Come On Let's Go
2. The Half Has Never Been Told
3. You Got To Move
4. Keep Holdin' On
5. He's A Battle
6. Something On My Mind
7. Soon I Will Be Done
8. One More River
9. He'll Make A Way
10. Don't Let The Devil Ride
11. What Should I Do?
12 Jesus Gonna Make Up My Dyin' Bed
13. Love Train
14. ...The Get Back
02/24: Jackson, MS - Duling Hall %
03/16: Houston, TX - The Heights Theater %
03/17: Dallas, TX - Kessler Theater %
03/22: St. Louis, MO - Delmar Hall %
03/23: Cincinnati, OH - 20th Century
03/24: Berwyn, IL - Fitzgerald's %
03/30: Savannah, GA - Lucas
Theatre for the Arts *
03/31: Athens, GA - The Foundry %
04/06: Memphis, TN - Railgarten%
04/07: Franklin, TN - Franklin
04/08: Knoxville, TN - Rhythm n' Blooms Festival ^
04/13: Baton Rouge, LA - LSU Water Campus %
04/14: Birmingham, AL - Lyric Theatre %
04/27: Atlanta, GA - Variety Playhouse !
04/28: Greenville, SC - Peace Center for the Performing Arts !
04/29: Wilkesboro, NC - MerleFest !
05/05: Meridian, MS - MAAEX %
05/09, 10: Key West, FL - Key West Songwriting Festival #
05/11: Clearwater, FL - Capitol Theatre %
05/17: Green Bay, WI - Riverside Ballroom %
05/18: Green Lake, WI - Thrasher Opera House %
05/19: Green Lake, WI - Thrasher Opera House %
05/20: Galesburg, IL - Fat Fish Pub %
05/31: Millville, NJ - Levoy Theatre %
06/01: Bethlehem, PA - Levitt Pavilion Steelstacks *
06/03: Nelsonville, OH - Nelsonville Music
06/05: Chicago, IL - Lagunitas Brewing Company *
06/07: Ann Arbor, MI - The Ark
06/08: Madison, WI - RiverRoots Music
& Folk Arts Fest %
06/29: Memphis, TN - Levitt Shell Memphis
07/01: Arlington, TX - Levitt Pavilion Arlington *
07/06: Kelly, WY - Teton Valley Ranch %
07/12: Reno, NV - Robert Z Hawkins Amphitheatre *
07/13: Berkeley, CA - UC Theatre *
07/14: Los Angeles, CA - Levitt Pavilion Los Angeles *
07/15: Solana Beach, CA - Belly
07/19: Morro Bay, CA - The Siren
Cruz, CA - Rio Theatre %
07/21: Nicasio, CA - Rancho Nicasio %
07/22: Nicasio, CA - Rancho Nicasio %
08/03: Sioux Falls, SD - 8th & Railroad Center *
08/11: Dayton, OH - Levitt Pavilion *
08/19: Denver, CO - Levitt Pavilion *
# - Paul Thorn Solo Acoustic
% - The Paul Thorn Band
* - Mission Temple Fireworks Revival w/ The Blind Boys of Alabama
^ - Missions Temple Fireworks Revival w/ The McCrary Sisters
! - Missions Temple Fireworks Revival w/ The McCrary Sisters & The Blind Boys of Alabama