Paul Thorn / Bruce Robison & Kelly Willis - 4/5
at City Winery Chicago
- 6:00 pm
- 8:00 pm
WNUR Welcomes Paul Thorn and Bruce Robison & Kelly Willis
It has been said that a Paul Thorn concert is like "taking a 6-pack to church," as evidenced by his song "Mission Temple Fireworks Stand." The first thing you notice is the voice, distinctively soulful and funky, the voice of a man who has walked a long, hot span over dusty Mississippi country roads. Thorn is the second biggest thing to come out of Tupelo, Mississippi.
"Paul is one of my favorite artists!" –Bonnie Raitt
Kris Kristofferson, Mark Knopfler, Huey Lewis and Robert Earl Keen all have raved about him as well.
His new album Pimps and Preachers was #1 at Americana Radio for 3 weeks and has spent 7 weeks in Top 5!
Born in Tupelo, Mississippi and raised among the same spirits (and some of the actual people) who nurtured a young Elvis generations before, 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 Durán on national television, opened for Bonnie Raitt, Mark Knopfler, and John Prine among many other headliners, and made some of the most emotionally restless yet fully accessible music of our time.
The first thing you notice is The Voice, unique and distinctive, the voice of a man who has walked a long, hot span over dusty Mississippi country roads. And after repeated listens, you realize that his is not merely the voice of a poet but also of a merciful prophet, a summation not unjustified. Those who follow the career of Paul Thorn believe he is both.
Bruce Robison & Kelly Willis
When is the sum of the parts of a musical quantity far greater than the whole?
When Kelly Willis and Bruce Robison unite as an ongoing musical act. After all, their own individual artistic achievements already sum up to impressive totals.
Willis has reigned as a critically acclaimed roots music singer since her recorded debut some two decades ago, and is recognized as a new country and Americana pioneer. Her ever-broadening artistic range and gifts as both a canny writer and interpreter of songs have consistently continued to wow her many fans and music critics alike thanks to her finesse, smarts and irresistible charm.
Robison has made his mark as both a writer of indelible smash #1 hits like “Wrapped” (George Strait), “Angry All The Time” (Tim McGraw & Faith Hill) and “Travelin’ Soldier” (Dixie Chicks) and an artist in his own right who boasts a series of eight albums rich with his laconic yet potent grace and emotional dead aim as a songwriter and singer.
But as this couple in life, love and parenthood now unite as a band all its own, it’s more about the promise and thrills of the new than their considerable solo legacies and the laurels they’ve already earned. “We’ve been playing together occasionally over the years,” explains Willis. “And it’s always been really special. So we just thought we’d like to try a real collaboration where we pull from each other’s strengths and create a new entity apart from our separate ones.”