Written by Eddie Ferranti
Nov 19, 2010 at 08:00 PM
ImageHad one of those plus and minus evenings thee other night.  Went to check out an HMR fave Paul Thorn at a new joint for us called Monnalisa’s.  Definitely want to get to the PLUS of the night which was Mr. Thorn and his fine band.  This Wisconsin born, but Tupelo, Mississippi raised as an infant dude, is as down to earth real as they come these days.  His combination of “aw shucks” charm with his ball bustin’ lyrics mixed with KILLER guitar work from leftie sidekick Bill Hinds and you got yourself a rock ‘n roll good time!

Featuring a lot of cuts from his bad ass new album, “Pimps and Preachers”, he killed from the start with “You’re Not the Only One”.  The house started shakin’ early when he tore into newbie “Weeds in My Roses” !  Lyric of “I need some Jezibel pesticide!” slayed me along with Hinds’ torching the place down. BH also did fine work on gems “Crutches”, “Starting Line” and “Better Days Ahead” dedicated to Nawlins.

Thorn does not talk too much between songs but when he does epic lines fall out like: “I want to ask for forgiveness up front to all the men in the house as I think impure thoughts about your women tonight….”  Epic intro to “Mood Ring” indeed.  PT announced there was trouble in the trailer park and barged into “Burn Down the Trailer Park” ! “Pimps and Preachers” was dedicated fondly to his Dad (Preacher) and Uncle (Pimp).  Thorn sans the band did tender family song “Mission Temple” and new classic “Tequila is Good for the Heart”.  Plus he dedicated “What Do You Take Me For” to his wife which was heartfelt.  He KILLED me with his family reunion tale on “I Don’t Like Half The Folks I Love”.

Like I stated this guy’s sense of humor is classic and his delivery wholesome and rockin’.  “Rise Up” burned the lounge up and he even jumped the “railing” in front of the stage and held my better half Rosie for 1/2 the song !!!!   Super cool.

The bad thing about the whole gig though was that it was pretty much lost on the meat market crowd at Monnalisa’s.  This place is bringing in good talent the likes of PT, John Evans and Jesse Dayton, but the layout blows big time. A freakin’ fireplace is right in the middle of the floor!  Where the hell is the polar bear rug?!  Drinks are hard to come by and high dollar, too.  In closing I really enjoyed this gig and already know Thorn is coming to Conroe Heritage Park Thursday series 4/7/11!  I plan on seeing him for sure, but I’m not too sure about ever seeing Monnalisa’s again………Be cool and go see something out there!