Friday, July 29, 2016

Eli "Paperboy" Reed at Hearst Plaza

In 2002, Eli Husock graduated high school in Boston, Massachusetts, and moved to Clarksdale, Mississippi, immersing himself in the juke joint culture of the Deep South. After a year, he relocated to Chicago, Illinois, where he studied sociology in college, hosted a soul-music radio show on the college radio station, and played organ and piano in a church. A year after that, the renamed Eli "Paperboy" Reed returned to Boston, where he launched a career as a recording artist strongly influenced by late 1960s/early 1970s Chicago soul music. He now lives in Brooklyn, New York. His fifth album, My Way Home, was released on June 10, 2016.

Headlining a free Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors concert at Hearst Plaza this evening, Reed moved from rhythm & blues to spirituals, showing himself to be a disciple of vintage African American music. Backed by organist J.B. Flatt, bassist Michael Montgomery, and drummer Noah Rubin, Reed played bluesy guitar licks and sang from the gut like he was leading an evangelical church choir. The songs sounded old-school, but the flame setting them free blazed like a sudden wildfire. Reed's music was retro, but demonstrated that roots music is timeless.

Visit Eli "Paperboy" Reed at