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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

He's a Soul Man, Man: Eli Paperboy Reed, La Maroquinerie, July 15, 2008

Eli Paperboy Reed, the sensational 24-year old Soul Man from Boston the whole internet is buzzing about, made his first appearance in Paris last night at La Maroquinerie. Reed was pushing his fabulous new record Roll With You. Just as on the record, last night his perfectly pickled soul vocals moved effortlessly between slow Sam Cooke-d croons and James Brownesey yelps, giving him the unchallenged title of best new indie artist of the retro soul genre (but hey, he could simply take Best New Indie Artist, period). He belted out songs that made the more casual soul fan blink, "Is this a Sam, uh, Cooke cover? Was that Wilson P-Pickett?" Alas, no, he treated the audience to few covers, but the fact that the Amy Winehouse-led soul revival even wonders about it suggests the Paperboy is the Shit. This ain't no Blues Brothers cover band. And this ain't another Vanilla Ice. And the live performance is as lively as it should be: a demi-Black Baptist Sunday sermon. No minstrelsy. Just true love. This guy has been studying the soul tradition for years, singing along, letting the spirits stake out a claim in his head and heart. He promised to be back soon. Keep your ears on those CBs, truckers...
In Paris last night, keepin-it-real-low-quality cell phone version:
Fancy pants higher tech version from Houston:
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Formerly "Parisnormale: Paris Rocks"