Paul Thorn brings softer twist to rough patch on ‘Never Too Late To Call’: NPR
Steve Roberts / Courtesy of the artist
On his latest album, Never too late to call, we find the southern rocker Paul Thorn reflecting. Raised in Tupelo, Mississippi, Thorn worked as a professional boxer and factory worker before becoming a full-time musician in the late 1990s, releasing several studio albums since. But his last record lasted seven years.
On 11 blues songs, the singer-songwriter explores a smoother sound than his previous works, as the characters in Thorn’s life – his wife, daughter, father – slide prominently through the music.
Thorn joined NPR’s Debbie Elliott to talk about her new, deeply personal record, complicated family love, redemption and gratitude. Listen in the audio player above and read on for the interview highlights.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Find gratitude in the present moment
“I really have [taken stock of things]. You know, nothing in my life has gone perfectly, but it has been really good. And I think everyone can get something out of it [“Two Tears Of Joy”] by simply learning to be grateful for what they have.
âOne of the things that happened to me was that I had COVID and I was in bed for a good two weeks.â¦ I had my wife to take care of me, which was not an easy task because I got along well. her nerves just being tough. But now we are back on the right track, and I have learned that marriage is all about cooperation and patience. “
On the collaboration with his wife
“Well, while I was writing [“Breaking Up For Good Again”], my wife – I could hear it harmonizing through the walls, and it sounded good.
“We lived this song. … Every married couple lives this song. And [my wife] was really nervous and worried because she had never been in a recording studio – not too shabby for someone who only sang at church. “
On the gentle nature of the album
“I’m very proud of the stripped down sound he has.â¦ [The title track], ‘Never Too Late To Call’, was inspired by my sister Deborah. Just over a year ago she passed away from cancer, but one of the things I loved about her was any time of the night I could call her, and she was awake. I would often apologize and say, âDeborah, I’m sorry to call you so late. More than once she has said, âDon’t worry, it’s never too late to call. [It’s] such a heartwarming thing to have someone you can reach out to at any time. I miss my sister, and I think of her, and this song is for her memory. This song will live on forever. “