October 16, 2008

Eli "Paperboy" Reed @ Lola's Room

Mr. Reed is a showman. And his band kicks ass. He croons, he screams, and his banter is rehearsed and friendly. The crowd was sparse, but the band came to play and put on a show. They were raw, they were rough, and they sounded great. Their music filled the room and more than made up for the lack of audience. I could feel the horns' vibrations in my beer. Over the course of the set, I heard in his voice a number of soul stars that I love but never got to see live because I was born too late, including a little Otis Redding, a little Wilson Picket, and a whole lot of Joe Tex. But he also reminded me of some of the other lesser known southern soul singers like James Carr and Arthur Alexander, emotive southern singers coming out of Muscle Shoals. His voice is gritty and warm and he nails the deep and scratchy scream. I can just imagine him running the Chitlin' circuit, working the crowd until they are sweaty and tired from dancing. This was one of those concerts that seals the deal, moving me from a casual appreciator to a fan. I'd go see him again live in a heartbeat. I can only imagine what he'd do with a full house.


Mona said...

Yes, but did their music more than make up for your lack of PHOTOS?!?!?! Get a camera, son!

awmercy said...

Ha ha. I knew you'd give me hell for that. But you know me.

However, I will say that like a good soul man Mr. Reed wore a suit.