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In playful communion with his fans

Paul Thorn / Peter Mulvey
Turner Hall
Milwaukee, WI
November 15, 2012
Paul Thorn
Paul Thorn
Peter Mulvey
Peter Mulvey
Paul Thorn
Paul Thorn

Review and photos by Jennifer Bronenkant

Blues rocker Paul Thorn held court at Turner Hall mixing music with his Southern flavored storytelling. Born in Kenosha, Wisconsin but raised in Tupelo, Mississippi, this son of a Pentecostal preacher plays up his southern roots to great effect. His bad boy charm wins over the ladies in the audience and entertains all.

Before entering the music business, Thorn had a successful boxing career highlighted by a fight with Roberto Duran. He then put his muscle into his bluesy rock music in the late 1990's.

Thorn is touring in support of his latest LP What The Hell Is Going On in which he puts his own unique spin on covers of other songwriters' tunes. Backed by his tight band made up of Bill Hinds on lead guitar, Jeffrey Perkins on drums and Ralph Fredrickson on bass, he included several numbers from the new release: "Don't Let Me Down Again," "Bull Mountain Bridge" along with the title track. He humorously promoted both the album and a lunch box featuring his own artwork explaining his depiction of heaven and hell where his wife let him have other women and the people in hell were the people who didn't buy his music.

Of course, he also included many of his own songs. "Pimps and Preachers" is about how he was shaped by his upbringing by his preacher father and his one time pimp uncle. The opposing forces of good and evil feature in much of his writing and in the personality of the man. On the dark side, he sang "Burn Down the Trailer Park" about a man dealing with his cheating wife. To the light, well sort of, with "I Have A Good Day" where a man sees the bright side of being dumped. Thorn goes all the way back to the light side with "Rise Up" where a woman resolves to get her self together and find something better in the face of adversity.

Thorn returned for the encore by jumping into the audience to sing "Take My Love With You" in playful communion with fans. He ended the dance at the merch table in the back of the room having lead the flock like the pied piper. This man makes great music and knows how to sell it.

Like Thorn, show opener Milwaukee native Peter Mulvey has also released an album of covers, "The Good Stuff." He describes the release as a collection of standards with a loose definition of the term that allows for a diverse set of songs by the likes of Leonard Cohen, Duke Ellington and Willie Nelson. His set included two of these covers: Ellington's "Mood Indigo" and Cohen's "Everybody Knows." The rest of his set consisted of lively originals peppered with friendly banter making for an easy transition into the act to follow.

Related articles:

Paul Thorn - basement tapes session

Set List:
Mission Temple Fireworks Stand
Burn Down the Trailer Park
What The Hell Is Going On
Mood Ring
Love Scar
Don't Let Me Down Again
Walk In My Shadow
Pimps and Preachers
I don't Like Half The Folks I love
Weeds In My Roses
Wrong Number
Bull Mountain Bridge
Ain't Love Strange
I Have A Good Day
Long Way From Tupelo
Rise Up
Take My Love With You

Paul Thorn
Paul Thorn
Peter Mulvey
Peter Mulvey
Paul Thorn
Paul Thorn
Paul Thorn
Paul Thorn
Paul Thorn
Paul Thorn
Paul Thorn
Paul Thorn
Paul Thorn
Paul Thorn

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