Get Don’t Let The Devil Ride CD HERE
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I’m going to be honest here, before I dove into this album, I had never really heard of Paul Thorn. After diving into his back catalog, I felt I had a pretty good idea of what to expect.
Being raised in church, the son of a preacher, Paul spent plenty of time in church around old time gospel music and according to Paul himself, around the neighboring African American congregations where he fell in love with the music and infectious spirit. On this new album, it really shows.
The first track ‘Come On Let’s Go’ actually comes off a bit ‘Rockabilly’ with just a touch of soul. Nothing groundbreaking mind you, but you can hear his roots deep in the mix, not only musically, but vocally.
One of the songs that really caught my attention was ‘He’s A Battle Axe‘ with slow plodding rhythm, feeling like it came out of the Bayou, straight into a dimly lit dive bar. It’s definitely the kind of song you would hear on the jukebox while playing pool with your buddies.
The title track ‘Don’t Let The Devil Ride‘ was by far the stand out song on this album. The piano driven rhythm, the tasteful slide guitar and great backing vocals will pull you back to an era you didn’t realize you missed until this song snakes its way through your ear canals. It was one of only a couple that I felt compelled to give multiple spins.
With great vocals, a mix that is second to none and a band that hits the nail on the head, you would think one would have nothing but the highest praises for this offering, but it is not without its fair share of caveats.
While Paul pushes all the right buttons, hits all the right licks and pulls out all the stops lyrically, well, that is the biggest foe.
It is slightly over produced, totally on the safe side. Everything sounds like it was made somewhere in Hollywood in a studio, specifically for a TV show. Instead of bringing you back to Muddy Waters or Robert Johnson, this brand of Gospel/Blues feels a little on the generic side. It really doesn’t seem to have anything organic in it, even the vocals sometimes feel pushed.
With all that said, it is by no means a bad album and I know there is an audience out there that will eat it up. But, for the Blues/Soul purists out there, this will never do.