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Eli "Paperboy" Reed & the True Loves - Roll With You

Q Division Records

Run Time: 37:04

Soul music is alive! It's still here. Like all good things, you just have to look for it. John Nemeth, Andrew Duncanson (Kilborn Alley), Root Doctor, and now Eli "Paperboy" Reed are keeping soul singing alive and well in blues music. I could make the list longer but these are some names that instantly come to mind. While growing up in Massachusetts, Reed's father was a music critic who received lots of albums to listen to. Reed gravitated towards classic soul, R&B, gospel, and blues. At the age of 16, Reed was performing in Boston's Harvard Square for ample tips. Eventually his music journey led him to Mississippi where he met iconic blues drummer Sam Carr and shortly afterward earned his nickname.

Like many before him, Reed ran on to Chicago where he met former Chess soul songstress Mitty Collier. Collier, now a minister, hired Reed to be the leader of her church music program. Reed finally came full circle in 2005, when he returned home and put together his band The True Loves. They instantly released Walkin' and Talkin' For My Baby and Other Smash Hits. This, his second full scale release, shows Reed taking full hold on his creative power and introducing the world to the classic soul and R&B sounds from years gone by.

From the opening funky number "Stake Your Claim" to the final shaking "(Doin' the) Boom Boom" you get one helluva soul shake down party and one of the finest classic R&B releases of the last ten years that I've ever heard, period. That's saying a lot coming from this guy. Conjuring Otis Redding, Bobby Bland, Johnnie Taylor, Little Johnny Taylor, Sam Moore, James Brown, Al Green, and Syl Johnson with each and every cut; you can't mistake where Reed's true heart lies. The True Loves, the solid seven-piece Booker T & the MGs meet the Memphis Horns throwbacks are instantaneously dead-on.

Never over-done and with earth-shattering howls to the slow burning "oos" that soul singers use in their repertoire; Reed has got the total package. Watch some of his YouTube videos posted on his website and you'll understand that he brings what all the soul greats before him brought to the table - unbridled passion and raw power conjured from the soul that is at its heart gospel and the unblazoned love and yearn for love that is in itself secular and sexual and human. If you are a lover of the classic R&B and soul traditions, filter in this young man from the Northeast into your playlist.

Track him, buy the CD, whatever it takes...oh, man I'm going down to one knee I can feel all this great soul coming on!.

Reviewed by Ben "the Harpman" Cox. Visit his website Juke Joint Soul

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