released August 10th, 2010

from the album - Come And Get It

from all music

Growing up in Brookline, MA, Eli Reed had wide exposure to music. His father was a critic and lent his extensive record collection to his son, who soaked up as much as he could, gravitating toward the gospel, soul, blues, and R&B albums especially. Teaching himself piano, guitar, and harmonica, and busking in Harvard Square to practice his chops and performing skills, after finishing high school he found work in Clarksdale, MS, but upon moving there, and finding that the job had fallen through, Reed introduced himself to the music community there, playing frequently at local clubs and even ending up under the tutelage of drummer Sam Carr. It was in Mississippi that Reed also got his nickname, "Paperboy," thanks to the newsboy-styled hat he was wearing at the time, but after nine months there, at his parents' bequest he moved north to attend the University of Chicago. In Chicago Reed was able to meet soul singer Mitty Collier, who had had a hit in 1964 with the single "I Had a Talk with My Man" but had since turned to ministry. The young musician impressed her so much ó he auditioned on the piano in his dormitory ó that she asked him to be the Minister of Music at her church, a position he held until he returned to Boston after a year of school. Back home, Reed worked on assembling his band, called the True Loves, and in 2005 he self-released the record Sings "Walkin' and Talkin' (For My Baby)" and Other Smash Hits, a collection of covers and originals. The band began to gain recognition around town, particularly thanks to Reed's enthused and passionate singing, and a performance at 2007's SXSW attracted some label interest. Signed to Boston-based Q Division, Eli "Paperboy" Reed & the True Loves issued their second full-length, Roll with You (with all songs written or co-written by Reed), in 2008. Come and Get It, his first major label album, was released two years later.

album review

Ever since the dawn of the electric guitar, white boys have sung the blues, some with considerably more success than others. Eli ďPaperboyĒ Reed is part of that long tradition, but he stands apart from the pack as much as he belongs to it, due in large part to his age. Raised on CD reissues of classic blues and soul ó he was not even 10 when the first Complete Stax/Volt Singles box came out ó Reed has absorbed the sound and sensibility of classic Ď60s soul but sings without any white-boy blues affectations, totally comfortable in his own skin because nobody else his age, of any race, was attempting to make this kind of music. This can cause a kind of a disconnect ó Reed sounds so white when he sings, itís disarming ó but he pours on the passion and has fully absorbed the tight turns of Stax and loves the sound as much as the structure, so much so that Come and Get It! ó his third LP and first for a major label ó feels a bit like an unearthed relic, built on songs and sounds that could pass for unheard gems if it wasnít for Reedís unapologetically white voice, free of affectations and ticks. Some of that may be due to producer Mike Elizondoís work ó he manages to make this sound like a throwback without being stiff, and without having a hint of Mark Ronsonís hipster retroism for Amy Winehouse ó but heís just articulating Reedís gifts, letting the songs stand front and center. And thatís whatís remarkable about Come and Get It!: this is not a modern-day blues album, itís a classic soul album, with almost all the tracks clocking in at 3:30 or less, leaving very little room for showboating solos. All concentration is on the tunes themselves, with the band kicking them toward kineticism, Reed channeling all his energy into making the songs sing, and they wind up sticking, sounding a bit like forgotten classics upon first listen, then winding up as familiar favorites upon the second. If there is any fault here, itís that Reedís voice remains perennially boyish, sometimes preventing this from achieving a level of gravity, but thereís no attempt to hide this: itís an honest reflection of who Reed is, a young kid from Boston in love with the Southern sounds of the Ď60s and intent on carrying them on, even if he invites ridicule or scorn. He believes it, man, and based on Come and Get It!, itís hard not to believe it too.

Track Listing

1 Young Girl Dwellingham 3:08
2 Name Calling Husock 3:00
3 Help Me Husock 3:28
4 Just Like Me Husock, Spraker 3:35
5 Come and Get It Husock, Montgomery, Spraker 3:33
6 Pick a Number Husock 3:35
7 I Found You Out Husock 3:34
8 Tell Me What I Wanna Hear Husock, Spraker 3:04
9 Time Will Tell Husock, Spraker 4:22
10 You Can Run On Husock 3:26
11 Pick Your Battles Husock 4:25
12 Explosion Husock, Spraker 2:42