"People always ask me what I listen to," he said. "This is just a set of songs that, for different reasons, I liked a lot."
It's as simple as that, but sort of eclectic.
Thorn covers Lindsey Buckingham's "Don't Let Me Down Again," from his 1973 album with then-girlfriend Stevie Nicks. Other tracks are relatively new, like Texas songwriter Ray Wylie Hubbard's "Snake Farm," which was recorded in 2006.
None of the artists are household names. Sure, people might know who Hubbard and Buckingham are. Hubbard is considered one of the elder statesmen of the Texas music scene and an influence on country and Americana music. Buckingham had a moderately successful solo career but is best known as the guitar wizard of Fleetwood Mac.
"I run with a crowd of underground artists," Thorn said. "Even the most well-known artist on the album, like Delbert McClinton, [who] I sing a duet with. To me, he's a household name, but the average guy on the street, he doesn't know who Delbert McClinton is."
He doesn't think that's such a bad thing.
"I want a career like John Prine," he said. "John isn't a household name, but he can put his name on the marquee of a theater just about anywhere in America and a couple of thousand people will show up.
"At the same time, he can probably go to Walmart and probably not get recognized."
That sounds all right to Thorn.
"I think, if you blow up overnight, you spend the rest of your career shrinking," he said. "If you get a million fans in one night, they won't stay with you, but two or three people a night . . . they're with you for life."
Too much success is often kind of a curse. Thorn doesn't really want to get too big.
"If I become so successful," he said, "there won't be anybody home to share it with."
He'd miss his family if they weren't there when he got back.
Reach Bill Lynch at ly...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5195.