Friday, February 09, 2007

Get on Down With Eli Reed (Pts. 1, 2 & 3)!

Eli "Paperboy" Reed & The True Loves:

I'm Gonna Getcha Back "b/w" Am I Wasting My Time

Take My Love With You

Today's three-song post is a departure from the norm in that it features new recordings (generally the province of a "Soul-Blues Saturday" post). Eli "Paperboy" Reed and his band, the True Loves, like Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings and similar acts, are adherents to the true sounds of classic soul and strive not only to pay homage to the music but also to make new music that is true to the style and technique that made those old classics so good. Don't let Reed's age (23) and the group's "fresh-faced kids" look throw you off - these guys are the real deal, laying down nice slabs of soul and blues along the East Coast and elsewhere (they are going to play the famed South by Southwest festival in Texas this year). Check out their website to find out more about the group and the interesting bio of its leader, whose life story takes him from his childhood exposure to soul and blues to the juke joints of Clarksdale, Mississippi to soul legend Mitty Collier's church on Chicago's South Side. You can also find out about Eli "Paperboy" Reed Sings "Walkin' and Talkin' (For My Baby)" And Other Smash Hits, his first CD, and download material from the group's forthcoming CD Roll With You, from which today's selections, all originals, come.

I've paired "I'm Gonna Getcha Back" and "Am I Wasting My Time" because I feel that these two tunes would make for a great 45 had they been recorded back in the '60s. "Getcha Back" is a nice piece of funky soul, featuring hard-hitting horns, great "revenge" lyrics and a nice stop-time vamp late in the song. The decidedly "back room" mix and occasionally off-the-mark horns add to the "authentic" sound of the tune, in my opinion. (Eli has told me that they have re-recorded the tune, and I'm sure the audio cleanup will improve it a lot.) "Am I Wasting My Time" takes a groove akin to Clarence Carter's "Too Weak To Fight" and a riff from Ollie & The Nightingales' "I Got A Sure Thing" and weds it to a nice lyric - albeit somewhat unusual from a male perspective - about looking for the "real thing" instead of a one-night stand. Nice keyboard work and harmony vocals really put the icing on the cake for this one. "Take My Love With You" is one of the group's newest recordings, and the improved mixing and performance is very noticeable. After a dramatic intro, Reed and the band revamp the Swanee Quintet's "Take The Lord With You" into a nice shuffling thing with a nice horn chart and enthusiastic singing from Eli.

I have corresponded with Eli a bit over the last few years and I'm very impressed by both his musical skills and his appreciation and passion for the music (he is also a record collector and during his Chicago sojourn he was a college DJ), which occasionally rises to the fore on the Southern Soul Yahoo group. Although I've occasionally debated with him over certain points, he knows his stuff, and I wish him and his band continued success. Eli's got soul, so get on down!

No comments: