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Get Down With It, Soul Music Lovers


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Went to the Barfly in Birmingham last night to see a stunning set by Eli “Paperboy” Reed. With the six-piece backing band The True Loves, including a horn section, it was reminiscent of a 60s’ soul revue - the sounds of yesteryear coming alive with the electricity and youthful abandon of today.

 

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Eli is every inch the showman and definitely a star in waiting. With a sensational voice that has shades of Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, James Brown and Little Richard, it’s amazing that he is white and only aged 24. His vocal delivery was superb throughout the set, displaying authenticity and range, with rare fire, power and passion.

 

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Eli taught himself to play the guitar, piano and harmonica, and cut his teeth in the North Mississippi Delta before assembling The True Loves in 2004. He has managed to infuse so many great influences and turned it into something very exciting, by serving his ‘apprenticeship’ in the Blues hotspots of Clarksdale, Mississippi and Chicago. The “Paperboy” nickname was given to him during his time in Clarksdale due to his penchant for wearing his grandfather’s newsboy hat.

 

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‘Mojo’ magazine states, "There are singers who sing and there are singers whose sheer power of expression can knock you off your feet. Eli “Paperboy” Reed falls firmly into the latter category...[he] threatens to be one of the defining voices of the year."

 

Another reviewer said “His sound is part 50s sock hop, part Apollo flamethrower and part bluesy porch-rocker — but all soul. His ballads will transport you to a happy, contemplative place — that is, until he lets those pipes of his rip with a scorching yelp.”

 

Eli’s music has also been described as “your favourite Motown and Stax records livened up for the Amy Winehouse era“.

 

Anyone standing through one of his gigs without a grin on their face and fire in their soul simply doesn't have a pulse. Like an Andy Liddell penalty, Eli is unmissable!

 

He is very down to earth with no airs and graces, and he was willing to sign stuff afterwards and have his photo taken with Mrs. S.

 

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It was a privilege to be there last night at the start of what is bound to be a bright future. His gigs in London tonight and tomorrow at the Brixton Academy are sold out. This time next year, I would expect Eli to be filling much larger venues and charging more than £7. Remember where you first read about him and………watch this space.

 

If you like this sort of music, or know anyone who does, there is a cracking new album ‘Roll With You’ - a collection of all original songs written by Eli - available now as the perfect gift for Christmas.

 

It’s great to know that Soul music is alive and kicking, and in safe hands.

 

For audio and video clips:

http://www.myspace.com/elipaperboyreed

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