Paul Thorn Will NOT Let The Devil Ride

Prepare to be uplifted by Paul Thorn’s New CD Don’t Let The Devil Ride

Paul Thorn – photo Rob Dickens


Paul Thorn Announces First Gospel Album

Don’t Let The Devil Ride

Out March 23 2018


Don’t Let the Devil Ride will be Paul Thorn’s latest collection, his first gospel album, out March 23 2018 (via Thirty Tigers).  For those of us that have seen Thorn live before, this will all seem a perfect fit, a development that extends his uplifting, friendly and joyful stage persona.

The new soulful songs were originally recorded by black southern gospel groups, was co-produced by Billy Maddox and Colin Linden (Blackie and the Rodeo Kings) 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.

After a dozen roots-rock records, Thorn reclaims his past by celebrating the first music to which he was ever exposed.  Don’t Let the Devil Ride combines strong influences stemming from his own 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 Maddox, who led him to write for the legendary (and recently deceased) Rick Hall, owner of FAME, 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 tent-side 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.”

Hallelujah That!


Don’t Let the Devil Ride Track List:

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 Axe

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


Paul Thorn will be performing on the Cayamo cruise next month which will be covered by Listening Through The Lens.


Prepare to be uplifted by Paul Thorn’s New CD Don’t Let The Devil Ride



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Author: Rob Dickens

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