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Born out of his old-school gospel recording project entitled Mission Temple Fireworks Revival, Paul Thorn emphatically attests that this concert will be “like taking a six pack to church!” The former boxer and son of a preacher has often touched on spiritual themes in his songs, while also penning tunes about strippers, pimps and others on the fringes of society. Thorn and his versatile, veteran band played SMF’s 2016 kickoff concert at Ships of the Sea, and also during that season’s festival on a bill with Marc Broussard. The Blind Boys of Alabama last appeared at SMF in 2008. In the seven decades since they first began singing together, the Blind Boys’ music has not only endured, but thrived, helping to both define the sound of the American south and push it forward into the 21st century.

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