Blues, Folk, & Country, All Ages

Paul Thorn

When: Thu., July 22, 8 p.m. 2010

Paul Thorn rocks harder than most so-called roots rockers, and his tunes are rife with wry wisdom and wit. The narrow divide between sin and salvation is the subject of many of those on Pimps and Preachers, his current CD on the Perpetual Obscurity label. Raised in Tupelo, Mississippi, Thorn is the son of a preacher, and a former professional boxer. Loose women and cheap liquor haunt his imagination, and hypocrisy is a frequent target. He discovers that tequila is a better cure than prayer for a broken heart and, singing in a gruff low tenor over his band's molten "Honky Tonk Women"-like groove, snarls, Don't need no fertilizer or garden hoses/Bring me a ho'/There's weeds in my roses. He also points out that Hank Williams was "in the darkness" when he sang "I Saw the Light." Thorn and his band, perhaps the hottest of its type since Joe Ely's in the '80s, perform Thursday, July 22, at Freight & Salvage (2020 Addison St., Berkeley). 8 p.m. $20.50-$21.50.

Lee Hildebrand

Price: $20.50, $21.50

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