No matter what mood you are in when you arrive, you are sure to leave a Paul Thorn show with a smile on your face. He lifts you up and makes you see the world in a better light. In fact, one of his new songs is titled, "What Have You Done to Lift Somebody Up?"
Since he was raised as the son of a Pentecostal preacher, many of his songs have a spiritual bent. In addition, by watching his father, he learned at a young age how to work the emotions of his audience. With his charismatic personality that brightens the stage with his smile, he always seems to be cracking himself up.
When I mentioned his religious background, I did not mean to imply that his show is in anyway sanctimonious. More like respectfully irreverent. Songs like, "Joannie, the Jehovah Witness Stripper" and "Ain't Living in Sin No More" have touches of laughing at people and religion without being
disrespectful of God.
On Saturday night at the Nugget in Sparks, he got the audience right away with his fun songs and banter about the recent earthquakes. He performed several new songs from the latest CD, A Long Way From Tupelo. Even though I have a bias against typical casino shows, I was thoroughly satisfied with the entire performance.
The one time boxer fought Roberto Duran and wrote the song, "Rather Be a Hammer Than a Nail" about the experience. He worked in a chair factory for 12 years, but he had a vision and a determination to have a better life, and luckily, he also had the talent to back it up.
The big finale about a former preacher who now runs a
fireworks stand and sells "cherry bombs for Jesus" has everyone on their feet singing along, "Holy Ghost, Fire and Brimstone, Pentecostal, Mission Temple Fireworks Stand."