Paul Thorn

Vinyl Music Hall Presents:

Paul Thorn

The Gary Douglas Band

Thu, June 6, 2019

7:00 pm

Vinyl Music Hall

Pensacola, FL

$25.00 - $45.00

This event is all ages

* General Admission- Seated And Standing Room Only * GA Seating Will Be On A Strictly First Come/ First Serve Basis * Additional $5 Cash Surcharge At The Door For Under 21 * Attendees Under 16 Must Be Accompanied By A Ticketed, Adult Guardian * Advertised Times Are Door Times- Events Generally Begin 30-60 Minutes After Doors Open

Paul Thorn
Paul Thorn
Paul Thorn has created an innovative and impressive career, pleasing crowds with his muscular brand of roots music – bluesy, rocking and thoroughly Southern American, yet also speaking universal truths. 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. Raised in Tupelo, Mississippi, among the same spirits (and some of the actual people) who nurtured the young Elvis generations before, Paul Thorn has rambled down back roads and jumped out of airplanes, worked for years in a furniture factory, battled four-time world champion boxer Roberto Duran on national television, signed with and been dropped by a major label, performed [on stages with Bonnie Raitt, Mark Knopfler, Sting, and John Prine among many others, and made some of the most emotionally restless yet fully accessible music of our time. He’s also appeared on major television shows such as Late Night with Conan O’Brien and Jimmy Kimmel Live, been the subject of numerous National Public Radio (NPR) features and charted multiple times on the Billboard Top 100 and Americana Radio Charts. This year, Paul released an album titled Don’t Let the Devil Ride, which he describes as “the culmination of my whole life in music, coming back to my roots.” It marks his first time recording gospel music - featuring guests such as the Blind Boys of Alabama, the McCrary Sisters, and Preservation Hall Horns - and his creation of a body of strikingly original songs that address the foibles of human relationships without necessarily favoring the sacred over the profane.
The Gary Douglas Band
The Gary Douglas Band
Gary Douglas has long been waging battle with the forces of greed and injustice, both as rebel rocker and as a Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame attorney who spends each and every day fighting for workers rights and the victims of corporate greed. Now, with The Gary Douglas Band’s bracing new LP, DEEP IN THE WATER, he has crafted his most powerful statement thus far, a clarion call of passionate rock ‘n’ roll fueled by expertly crafted melodies, stadium-sized choruses, and Douglas’ uncompromising lyricism. Songs like “Nothing Ever Goes As Planned” and the forceful title track find the singer-songwriter-bandleader opening up his rousing American sound to better explore the social and emotional effects of politics and power on living, breathing people.

“Law is about fighting for people who have been exploited or taken advantage of,” Douglas says, “people who have been harmed and hurt by the powerful elites in our society. Music is just a different medium to get to the same result. These songs, they’re about the same people, their struggles and their lives. Both things, it’s about giving voice to the voiceless.”

Indeed, DEEP IN THE WATER’s remarkable title track reflects Douglas’ recent efforts on behalf of multiple plaintiffs battling DuPont for injuries sustained by the chemical giant’s illegal dumping of the dangerous chemical C8 into the Ohio River. Douglas spearheaded the milestone litigation, representing the unsuspecting communities along the Ohio River Valley to whom DuPont referred in internal documents to as “‘human receptors.”‘ Much like the recent ruling against Monsanto in California, Douglas won a series of record-shattering settlements in the multi-district litigation, earning more than $700 million in punitive damages after juries agreed DuPont had acted with a “‘conscious disregard”‘ for the health and well-being of the families living along the river in Ohio and West Virginia. “‘We connected all your dots/And we’ve become your worst nightmare/Agitators/And we’re rising up…”‘ Douglas sings on “‘Deep In The Water,”‘ using his extraordinary music to reaffirm his powerful message to corporations who destroy communities with little care for those who live there.

“I don’t usually write about my work as an attorney,” he says. “’Deep In The Water’ is an exception. Darrell and I worked really hard on the lyrics, converting my literal experience into something poetic, ‘Deep in the water/the truth is lying.’”

Along with landmark legal victories against such monolithic foes as Big Pharma and the tobacco industry, Douglas – who was inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame earlier this year, joining such legal giants as Thurgood Marshall, Morris Dees, and William Kuntsler – has somehow found equal time to lead The Gary Douglas Band for more than four years, lighting it up night after night in barrooms, clubs, and theaters across the country. Produced and mixed by Niko Bolas (Neil Young, Warren Zevon) and co-produced by chart-topping songwriter/producer Darrell Brown (Keith Urban, Radney Foster), DEEP IN THE WATER pushes his earnest approach further than ever before, resulting in a richer, more meaningful, sound and vision that rings out with its craft, confidence, and striking conviction. Douglas spent more than a year working with Brown on songwriting sessions in New York and Los Angeles, writing and retooling melodies and lyrics until he had finally achieved his desired goal.

“It was definitely a growth experience for me as a songwriter,” Douglas says. “Most of my time playing in bands, from high school onward, I was always the songwriter. But you’re always in your own head, your own world. You can box yourself in. Darrell’s knowledge, his talent and ideas, the way in which you can look at a song, pick it apart, turn it upside down, all of a sudden the possibilities were infinite.”

Armed with the strongest songs of his career, Douglas began recording with Bolas, largely at Nashville’s Blackbird Studios. The sessions took more than a year to complete, with Douglas backed by an all-star band that includes his longtime saxophonist Nicholas Biello, as well as Gary Douglas Band tour mate Southside Johnny and his Asbury Jukes keyboardist Jeff Kazee, The Mavericks’ Raul Malo and Paul Deakin, The Jayhawks’ Jennifer Gunderman, guitarist Josh Leo, and a host of Nashville’s finest session players.

“It can be little intimidating working with such amazing players,” Douglas says. “You have to have a comfort level to let the creativity freely flow. Working with new people, it can take a little while to break the ice. On the other hand, it’s great to work with people with different perspectives. People who can take things in a different direction. There’s something very good about being in an uncomfortable situation.”

DEEP IN THE WATER is marked by Douglas’ utterly distinctive perspective, a pragmatic worldview born of the duality of his life’s work. Songs like “River Road” and “Devil In Her Soul” balance that unique outlook with propulsive rock n’ roll and finely crafted Americana, intertwining a subtle political bent that avoids easy solutions in pursuit of bridging the increasingly fray bonds of American society.

“We play a lot of red states.” Douglas says, “and whether you’re a Trump supporter or a Bernie supporter, what we focus on is all the things those folks have in common. That is, the feeling of isolation, the sense that people have been left behind by the economy. People feel like they’ve been forgotten, they feel a sense of worthlessness. You might have a different political idea about how to end that disparity, but we don’t talk about that. We’re singing about love, heartbreak, and the daily grind. We’re singing about real life.”

Douglas wrapped work on DEEP IN THE WATER and almost immediately began writing new songs that reflected his ongoing creative evolution. Energized and eager to get back at it, he reached out to producer Anthony J. Resta (Duran Duran, Collective Soul, Shawn Mullins) and headed to Los Angeles to record them, backed by studio stars like session guitar hero Tim Pierce (Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, Rob Thomas).

“I’d had this incredible growth experience with Darrell and Niko,” Douglas says, “and I started writing new songs. It was an awakening and I couldn’t hold back. I just wanted to get them recorded. I did it for my own head, really. I needed to see what I could do now, on my own.”

Non-LP songs like “Monkey On My Back” meld the craft and resourcefulness of DEEP IN THE WATER with an electric energy closer to The Gary Douglas Band’s fiery onstage performances. The NYC-based band has staked a claim in recent years as a truly stirring live outfit, with headline dates and national tours supporting such like-minded artists as Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes, Paul Thorn, and John Eddie.

“The live show is much more of a rock ‘n’ roll party,” Douglas says. “It’s a great outlet for me because obviously there are restraints in the courtroom; I can’t say everything I want to say, I’d get myself in trouble. And believe me, I’ve gotten myself in trouble with judges for crossing the line on more than a few occasions. I wear that as a badge of honor. Those restraints are off when I’m leading the band.”

Whether he is standing in front of a rapt jury or a sweat-drenched saloon, Gary Douglas has but one simple goal in mind. From DEEP IN THE WATER to his commitment to fighting the good fight on behalf of those who cannot fight for themselves, his defiant spirit and rebellious music are all in service to something important, true, and universal.

“Rock ‘n’ roll, to me, is all about connecting with people,” Gary Douglas says. “Playing songs and talking to people. People come up after our shows and say, ‘That’s me that you’re singing about.’ It’s the connection. That’s the reward, for me and for the audience as well.”
THE GARY DOUGLAS BAND

Gary Douglas (Guitar/Lead Vocals)
Jeremy Goldsmith (Electric Guitar)
Nicolas Biello (Reeds and Keys)
Dan Asher (Bass)
Tom Curiano (Drums)
Sebastien Ammann (Keys)
Jessica Antonette (Backing Vocals)


Then there’s rock ‘n’ roll, Music No. 2, which kicks that chair out from under you, cranks up the volume, slams out a beat like punches to the gut and dredges its message from the deepest passions singers and listeners can bear.

Sweeten it from the wells of Americana, country music and blues, and you get the music that drives GARY DOUGLAS. He drank it up in the streets of Brooklyn as a kid, where, in his words, “everybody knew everybody’s business. Everybody was hot-wired about whatever was on their minds.”

It became even more critical when his family moved with him to more placid surroundings on Long Island. There, he recalls, “It became a religion to me, profound and meaningful. Music gave me a way to channel my feelings, whether I understood them or not. I always found an outlet for feelings I couldn’t resolve, figure out or handle by playing music. It was indispensable.”

Nothing unusual there–for millions of kids around the world, rock ‘n’ roll is an essential rite of passage. But what happens when the passage is completed? Usually, they settle down, get a job … and start listening to Music No. 1 instead.

That’s not exactly what happened with DOUGLAS. He played in bands all the way through college and beyond. Then, in his words, “I had to make a living.” So he hung up his shingle and became a lawyer — a rock ‘n’ roll lawyer, actually.

“I’d walk into court with my suit on and my hair long below my shoulders,” he recalls. “I always fought for the little guy. Judges hated me because I hated authority. I was unorthodox and unconventional — and successful.”

And also, he adds, “completely unfulfilled. I kept telling myself, ‘I should be fucking happy but I’m not.’ Something was missing. It was always this.”

“This” was the rock ‘n’ roll, its whiff of danger and ability to mission past comfort zones toward extremes. “It’s that feeling you get when you’re listening to the lyrics of a really great Springsteen song and it’s like, ‘Fuck, yeah! Thank God somebody out there feels like I do.'”

See, DOUGLAS never let go of that music that gave meaning to his life. He never sank into the easy chair of Music No. 1. Maybe it’s because for all that he achieved as an “adult,” he remained a person governed as much by emotion as ideas. His peers sublimated those feelings or forgot they’d ever had them. Not DOUGLAS. He always kept a guitar in view at home, kind of like a talisman just waiting to be picked up.

Finally, one day, DOUGLAS did pick it up. And everything changed. His chops came back. His singing voice toughened to the point it could convey everything that he had to express — ecstasy, heartbreak and all points between — at full power and all night long.

Just as important, new songs started coming together. “Writing became my catharsis,” he says. “I might not even feel like I’m in the mood to write, but I’ll go to the piano or guitar and if I’m lucky I’ll channel something I can put into a song. Sometimes it’s a good feeling; more often it’s uncomfortable. But in the end I’ll feel better and I’ll have something I can share with the world.”

Backed by a ferocious new band, DOUGLAS took to the road. They opened on a 28-city “Guitar Gods” tour that featured Yngwie Malmsteen, Bumblefoot from Guns N’ Roses, Gary Hoey and other monster pickers. When back in New York, they tightened further through local club gigs. And there, DOUGLAS felt he had found again what he was looking for.

You can feel that magic on KEEPIN’ FAITH. Finished in the spring of 2015 and available now, the album taps into the energy that empowered Springsteen, Seger and other classic rockers. The urgency of “My Desire,” restless summons to seek a better life “Out on the Highway,” explosive anger of “Lord I Try,” screaming release of “Stop Bringing Me Down,” broken romance of “Goodbye Marie” — every shred of feeling throughout KEEPIN’ FAITH comes straight from the now liberated heart of GARY DOUGLAS.

Of course he had help on this mission, from the flawless support of THE GARY DOUGLAS BAND (guitarists Jeremy Goldsmith and Mark Marshall, keyboardist Scott Chasolen, bassist Dan Asher, drummer Stefano Baldasseroni, horn player Nick Biello and backup vocalists Yula Beeri and Clara Lofaro.

Producer Anthony Resta’s (Elton John, Needtobreathe, Collective Soul, Guster, Perry Farrell, Nuno Bettencourt, Shawn Mullins, Sarah Evans) creative input was also critical. “If I sing it some way but he knows I’m wrong, he has a great way of getting you to see the light,” DOUGLAS explains. “And I would go, Yeah! Got it!’ Next time I write a song, there’s not gonna be anything extraneous to it, thanks to what I’ve learned from working with Anthony.”

This is music that could tempt the sedate back into the fire of Music No. 2. The hooks, the blazing guitar solos, and muscle of the old-school Hammond organ, above all the redemptive power of GARY DOUGLAS, tell a story that won’t be denied.

Maybe it’ll change a few lives too. Just ask GARY.

“We played this club two nights ago in a small venue where the whole place was jumping. It was fucking awesome. I don’t need to be a superstar. I don’t need to play Madison Square Garden — although,” he adds, with a smile, “I wouldn’t turn it down. But when it’s right, when the place is packed and rocking, that’s it. That’s all I want.

I always feel best at these clubs where people the whole place is jumping. When we have those nights, that’s it. That’s what it’s about for me.”

Sometimes that’s all any of us need.



THE GARY DOUGLAS BAND
Gary Douglas (Guitar/Lead Vocals)
Jeremy Goldsmith (Electric Guitar)
Nicolas Biello (Reeds and Keys)
Dan Asher (Bass)
Tom Curiano (Drums)
Sebastien Ammann (Keys)
Jessica Antonette (Backing Vocals)

Facebook comments:

Venue Information:
Vinyl Music Hall
2 S. Palafox St.
Pensacola, FL, 35202
http://vinylmusichall.com/