Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Eli Paperboy Reed and the True Loves - Roll With You

Joining the likes of Sharon Jones and Black Joe Lewis in a 60's soul revival is Massachusetts native (who spent time in Clarksville, Mississippi to study the music of the region that he loved, as well as Chicago to do the same) Eli "Paperboy" Reed. I am late to the game on this young man, as he has been recording since the mid-2000's and this record was released in 2008. His sound has been compared to Stax artists like Otis Redding and Wilson Pickett and he occasionally also moves into grovvin' funk ala James Brown.

With fast-paced, snappin' snare and blarin' horns,  "Stake Your Claim" starts things off with a cool, soulful groove backing for Reed's Stax-influenced vocals and hip guitar riffs. They slow things down a bit for the Sam Cooke-styled "Am I Wasting My Time" and the Otis Redding-like "It's Easier". The band kicks things into a James Brown funk with the boastful "The Satisfier" and an early-60's dance feel in "Take My Love With You".  There's hints of "What a Wonderful World It Would Be" in the ballad-y title cut, "I'll Roll With You", and sweet guitar/horn inter play in the passionate "She Walks". More references in "I'm Gonna Getcha Back", this time Otis' "Hard to Handle", and innumerable up-tempo blues in "Won't Give Up Without a Fight". "(Am I Just) Fooling Myself" is another Redding-esque ballad and then he closes things out with a great, frantic, James Brown dance number, (Doin' the) Boom Boom".

This is a great record and I will definitely be checking out more from Reed, although I wish he didn't rely so heavily on ballads. He does them well, but goes a little overboard with them. In any case, still highly recommended.