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Liner Notes

First Listen: Paul Thorn’s “Never too Late to Call”

Paul Thorn Album Never Too Late to Call
Paul Thorn's album art 'Never Too Late to Call'

Paul Thorn, known around my apartment as “The Bard of Tupelo,” released his latest record, Never Too Late to Call on Friday, August 6th. It was recorded at the all-analog Sam Phillips Recording Studio in Memphis, and produced by the Grammy Award-winning engineer Matt Ross-Spang.

Perhaps the thing I love most about Paul Thorn is his ability to sum up universal life truths with simple turns of phrase, from the heartfelt to the hilarious. If I may briefly take us back to the halcyon year of 2010 and use his tune, I Don’t Like Half the Folks I Love as an example: whomst amongst us hasn’t rolled our eyes at an obnoxious relative over a plate of chicken?

Never Too Late to Call, is a theoretically opposing sentiment to be sure, but the title so aptly captures the beauty of having someone in your life you can always call upon. The title track was written for his late sister, Deborah Thorn Brown, who would always tell him it was “never too late to call” when he rang her up after shows, apologizing for the wee hour.

Paul wrote and recorded the song in 2019, shortly after Deborah’s passing in 2018. The full album was poised for release in early 2020. I’ll give you three guesses as to why it was delayed, though if you reside literally anywhere on this planet you probably only need just one.

But, the good news is that the country is on a two-steps-forward-one-step-back trajectory to normalcy, Never Too Late to Call has been released, and Paul Thorn is back on the road, so things are looking up for us all. The tune Sapalo taps into the optimism you feel – or are supposed to feel – when you’re free to get back to business. He wrote it after going on YouTube and watching a video of a high James Brown being interviewed before he set out on tour after serving 3 years in prison. The chorus of we’re lookin’ good, feelin’ good, we’re livin’ good, it’s all good, was taken verbatim from the interview.

Paul Thorn draws information and stories from everywhere: his family, the people he meets on the road, even James Brown, high on PCP. Nothing is off limits for him, which makes his songs all the richer. We sure are lucky to have Never Too Late to Call, and Paul Thorn too, for that matter.

We may not be lookin’ good, (hi quarantine 15, erm, 30...) but, it’s all good. Go catch him live if you can.

Never Too Late to Call


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