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Paul Thornís latest album Too Blessed To Be Stressed stakes out new territory for the popular roots-rock songwriter and performer. "In the past, Iíve told stories that were mostly inspired by my own life,Ē the former prizefighter and literal son of a preacher man offers. "This time, Iíve written 11 songs that express more universal truths, and Iíve done it with a purpose: to make people feel good.Ē
Thornís earlier catalog is cherished by his many fans thanks to his down-home perspective, vivid-yet-plainspoken language and colorful characters. It helps that Thorn is a colorful and distinctly Southern personality himself. He was raised in Tupelo, Mississippi, in the land of cotton and catfish. And churches.
Thorn possesses the ability to charm audiences right from the start. Not only with his music, but with the stories he tells from the stage. "Showmanship is a dying art that I learned from watching Dean Martin on TV when I was a kid,Ē Thorn explains. "He could tell little jokes and then deliver a serious song, then make you laugh again. And he would look into the camera like he was looking right at you through the TV. Thatís what I want to do ó make people feel like Iím talking directly to them.Ē
Thatís really Thornís mission for Too Blessed To Be Stressed, which can be heard as a running conversation about life between Thorn and listeners ó a conversation leavened with gentles insights, small inspirations and plenty of cheer.
"I wrote these songs hoping they might put people in a positive mindset and encourage them to count their own blessings, like I count mine,Ē Thorn observes. "Thereís no higher goal I could set for myself than to help other people find some happiness and gratitude in their lives.Ē
This project is supported by grants from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts. Accommodations provided by the Heidel House Resort & Spa.