Paul Thorn is a Sucker for Good Songwriting

Paul Thorn was raised in Tupelo, Miss., and spent a few years as a professional boxer before beginning his career as a folk-country singer/songwriter. His music career's been simmering for the last decade, but his most recent record, A Long Way From Tupelo, cracked the Billboard Top 200 and earned him spots on late-night network talk shows. He's headlining the new Old City Live series at the Old City Courtyard with local rockers Chuck Norris.

Patrick Sweany, Every Hour Is a Dollar Gone (Nine Mile Records)

He opened up for us not too long ago, and he was really good. We swapped T-shirts and CDs. I get given CDs all the time, and it's not too often you end up really liking one. But this one's really good. He's got a stripped-down three-piece band. It's raw sounding. He sings good, and he plays good.

Blowfly

He's one of the early adult rappers. I bought a Blowfly record at a store in Memphis and I've been wearing it out. It's different. it's funny. its so outside the box. That phrase gets used a lot when it shouldn't, but Blowfly's truly outside the box.

Roger Miller and Kris Kristofferson

The craft of songwriting—not many people are doing that anymore. It's just a bunch of neutered pretty boys. That doesn't do much for me.