Paul Thorn: From Boxer to Musician and Beyond – by Michelle S.
Paul Thorn has taken a strange but fruitful path in his career as a musician. he started out as a professional boxer where he established a respectable 10-3-1 record. This led to a nationally televised bout with former world champion Roberto Durán. He left boxing and started working at a furniture factory by day and in between, he was playing a pizza joint two nights a week while he was writing songs with his friend Billy Maddox. This routine lasted for almost twelve years while Paul was sending out his tapes and trying to get his music out in the world to be heard like most artists do. He got his musical break by way of Miles Copeland and the launching pad that started his music career.
One of his tapes got in the hands of Miles Copeland and Miles came to Tupelo and introduced himself and watch Paul’s performance. Two weeks later Paul Thorn was able to quit his day job and got a record deal on A&M Records. Due to his religious upbringing, he wasn’t allowed to go to concerts when he was younger, so his very first concert experience was opening up for Sting in Nashville with a crowd of 13,000 people. No Band, just Paul and his guitar. These performances went so well, that he was the opening act for Sting for the rest of the tour.
Word got out in the industry, that there was this guy who could entertain people with just himself and his guitar, another lucky break! Paul started opening for Jeff Beck, Huey Lewis & the News, John Prine, Marianne Faithfull, Mark Knopfler, Robert Cray, Bonnie Raitt, Toby Keith, Jeff Beck and Jerry Jeff Walker. Although he liked being an opening act, after the tours were over, he would go back to these same cities that he toured as an opening act and headlined his own shows which got a decent turnout because the people remembered him as the opening act.
This is how he started building his audience for decades along with his hilarious banter and storytelling skills. Most importantly, it’s his music that connects with people and creeps into your soul and makes you feel all kinds of emotions that are totally relatable across many different audiences. Paul Thorn sings with his heart and soul and when you see him live, you not only hear his music, but you’ll hear about the inspiration behind his songs. He’s very charismatic and entertaining and a show not to miss if he comes to a town near you. It’s worth it!
I got into his music when his debut album, “Hammer and Nail” came out in 1997 and immediately connected with him and have been a fan since!
After a dozen roots-rock records, that explored many different avenues, subjects and covers, Paul Thorn reclaims his past by coming full circle with the first music he ever experienced. “Don’t Let The Devil Ride” which is available now and features contributions from the Blind Boys of Alabama, The McCrary Sisters, the Preservation Hall Jazz Horns, and Bonnie Bishop.
It’s Inspirational music for turbulent times! Enjoy!