A Funky Torch & Twang Pick Of The Week
For our pick this week, an eclectic new album from Eli Paperboy Reed, who records in Brooklyn. His career arch is as unique as his dense sound.
Reed began his music career by busking in some pretty hallowed territory – in and around Harvard Square, in Massachusetts. After finishing high school in 2002, he moved to Clarksdale, Mississippi, in the heart of Delta Blues country, and home of the famous site where legend has it Robert Johnson sold his soul to play the Blues.
Like so many Blues trailblazers before him, Reed moved up to Chicago, where he became a minister. In 2008, while in Boston, Reed released his acclaimed first album, Roll With You. That album showcases Reed’s retro-soul sound, like on “I’ll Roll With You”.
After a few more albums, Reed met up with the High & Mighty Brass Band while living in Brooklyn, and their onstage chemistry was immediate. They entered the studio in 2017.
You can hear the Southern influence on the first track of their self-titled album, which came out on Record Store Day on Yep Rock Records. The new record maintains a swinging big band feel while staying true to the diverse styles of Americana Reed encountered in his travels – including funk, gospel, and even a cover of Beyonce’s “Love On Top.”