By any measure, Don’t Let The Devil Ride, the new release by Paul Thorn, is a great album and should stand up for inclusion in many of the requisite year-end best-of lists. With guest appearances from The Blind Boys of Alabama, The Preservation Hall Jazz Horns, The McCrary Sisters, and Bonnie Bishop there really is some next level Gospel mojo going on here. Throw in the recording, knob turning, and board magic happening in places like Sam Phillips’ recording studio in Memphis, FAME studios in Muscle Shoals, and the Preservation Hall in New Orleans, and you have a true musical tour-de-force.
Thorn goes deep and way back in time on the album covering somewhat obscure Gospel and Blues songs including the Willie Davis Song “He’s a Battle Ax” accompanied by an old-school banjo and New Orleans horns, “You Got To Move,” a Fred McDowell tune, and “The Half Has Never Been Told,” a song that goes back to at least 1926. Continue reading »