Paul Thorn - Pimps & Preachers

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Among those who value originality, inspiration, eccentricity, and character - as well as talent that hovers somewhere on the outskirts of genius, the story of Paul Thorn is already familiar. Now, Thorn reveals another layer of his fascinating history on the album Pimps & Preachers, addressing that subject on the title cut and in the intriguing "family portrait" he painted for the cover, which highlights his daddy the preacher and his uncle the pimp. The cover depicts a teeming street scene, at the unlikely intersection of Redemption Lane and Turn Out Blvd. Two figures dominate: A pimp and a preacher, both dressed to the nines beneath broad-brimmed hats, surrounded by streetwalkers, holy rollers and onlookers - all on their paths to salvation of perdition. Nearly lost in this turnult is a small boy, banging a tambourine branded with the name of Jesus but backed up against a hooker holding a fistful of greenbacks. "That little boy represents me," says Thorn. "I'm in the church group but my eyes are looking back to the street where all the sin is going on. It shows me being intrigued by the broad world. That's why I made this my album cover: It describes who I am."