New York, NY (Top40 Charts) Paul Thorn released on Friday his first-ever gospel album Don't Let The Devil Ride, available everywhere via Thirty Tigers. A collection of soulful songs originally recorded by black southern gospel groups, Don't Let The Devil Ride was co-produced by Billy Maddox and Colin Linden and recorded in three 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 shared the video for "You Got To Move," debuted by Glide Magazine, which features special behind-the-scenes footage of the making of the album at these legendary studios. Watch "You Got To Move" BELOW:
This morning, the Mississippi House of Representatives honored Thorn at the Capitol and presented him with House Resolution 66, declaring March 27th, 2018 as "Paul Thorn Day."
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.
Worthy of consideration for the AMA awards, the new album has hit Top 30 on the Americana Music Association airplay chart. Last month, Thorn released the album's lead single "Love Train," a gospel reimagining of The O'Jay's classic hit which Billboard called "slowed-down, gritty...a moment of unambivalent light on the project." Last week, Thorn spoke with NPR's Weekend Edition and described his return to his gospel roots.
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. "This is the culmination of my whole life in music, coming back to my gospel roots," says Thorn. "My message on this record is 'let's get together' - I want to help lighten your load and make you smile."
01) Come On Let's Go
02) The Half Has Never Been Told
03) You Got To Move
04) Keep Holdin' On
05) He's A Battle Axe
06) Something On My Mind
07) Soon I Will Be Done
08) One More River
09) 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
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 Theatre %
04/08: Knoxville, TN - Rhythm n' Blooms Festival ^
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 !
05/04: Water Valley, MS - Foster Music & Arts %
05/05: Meridian, MS - MAAEX %
05/07: Boca Raton, FL - The Funky Biscuit %
05/08: Boca Raton, FL - The Funky Biscuit %
05/09: Key West, FL - Key West Songwriting Festival #
05/10: Key West, FL - Key West Songwriting Festival #
05/11: Clearwater, FL - Capitol Theatre %
05/12: Ponte Vedra Beach, FL - Ponte Vedra Concert Hall %
05/13: Winter Haven, FL - Graham Parson's Derry Down %
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 %
05/30: Washington, DC - The Hamilton Live ^
05/31: Millville, NJ - Levoy Theatre %
06/01: Bethlehem, PA - Levitt Pavilion Steelstacks *
06/03: Nelsonville, OH - Nelsonville Music Festival *
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 *
07/10: Paradise, CA - Paradise Performing Arts Center #
07/11: Sutter Creek, CA - Sutter Creek Theatre %
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 Up %
07/19: Morro Bay, CA - The Siren %
07/20: Santa 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 *
08/24: Kansas City, MO - Knuckleheads %
08/25: Kansas City, MO - Knuckleheads %
08/26: Kansas City, MO - Knuckleheads #
# - 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