In some ways, Paul Thorn does not fit the idea of a typical King Biscuit Blues Festival performer. Although raised in Tupelo, Mississippi, technically he's not a blues artist. But when Thorn opened for B.B. King at the festival in 2010, he captured the hearts of a sold-out crowd that had never heard his name, and he's been back every year since.
Thorn told the audience that his father was a preacher and his uncle was a pimp, and if they didn't buy his album, they were all going to hell. "What I saw at the King Biscuit was a bunch of heads that looked like marshmallows. So, I took what the Lord gave me. I didn't think about B.B. King. I love B.B., but I wasn’t thinking about him. I was thinking about those marshmallow heads out in front of me and how I wanted to have a good time with them. So, I wasn't nervous about B.B. King. I was honored."
Still frame from Pryor Center video interview with Paul Thorn at Bubba's Blues Corner during the King Biscuit Blues Festival; Helena, Arkansas, 2015
© Pryor Center for Arkansas Oral and Visual History, University of Arkansas