The Unauthorized Biography of Rosco P. Coltrane

When it's my moment in the sun, I won't forget that I am blessed, but every hero walks alone, thinking of more things to confess

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Location: Owensboro, Kentucky, United States

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Sunday, September 18, 2005

Burn Down The Trailer Park

If you have never seen Paul Thorn, you are missing a great showman.

I went to see him last night at the AMP with Robert Earl Keen's Texas Uprising Tour. I was excited about getting to see Robert Earl Keen and Charlie Robison, but I paid my 20 bucks to see Paul.

As Paul described it onstage, "I know I ain't a big name like Charlie Robison or Robert Earl Keen. I know that. But I am like the ugly girl at the school dance standing next to the wall. I ain't that good looking, but if you get me in the back of a car, in the dark, and you give me a chance, it's pure ecstasy."

He tells stories. He is like an uncle who always tells the same stories, over and over again. But you still pull up a chair to take a listen. You still laugh at the same joke. You still smile when he smiles.

He used to be a professional boxer and tells a story about how he wrote a song about fighting Roberto Duran. About how Duran just absolutely demolished him, but Thorn hit Duran enough that he opened up a gash on his forehead. Thorn lost, but he smiled and said, "I bet I am the only person here that rode in an ambulance with Roberto Duran."

Thorn is a great showman, but he is an even better songwriter. He writes songs that deal with the white-trashy side of like. Songs like "Burn Down The Trailer Park" and "Two Dogs In Heat."

He writes songs about that are funny. Songs like "Great Day To Whoop Somebody's Ass" and "Mission Temple Fireworks Stand."

He writes songs about redemption and grace. Some of my favorites are "800 lb Jesus" and "Downtown Babylon."

But Paul's best songs are his sad songs. He didn't really play the sad songs last night, and I guess I understand why. Because his songs are heart-wrenching. "Give Them Their Roses" is about the regrets that everyone has because we just didn't do anything. "Star That Fell Down" is maybe my favorite. It is about a girl from Tupelo that moved to Hollywood to find her dream, but just found sadness. Paul Always makes you feel better, because whatever problems there are in life, he knows where you have been.

If you ever get a chance, go see him live, you will have a fun time. I promise.

And if you want some good music, pick-up one of his albums, you won't be disappointed.

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