ShareROLL WITH YOU (RE-ISSUE) - Eli "Paperboy" Reed & The True Loves (Fuse)
There's a rich irony in the fact that white Boston soul singer Eli "Paperboy" Reed's debut album was high-rotation on Australia's Radio National less than two years before this re-issue. Forty years ago, white bread radio in the US mistook Mick Jagger's vocal for an African American - and had to be told he wasn't to play the Stones. On the politically-correct Radio National on the other hand, it's probable that the reverse applies. Go ruminate.
You might have heard the story of how a post-high school Paperboy Reed upped and left Boston and dived in at the deep end, playing organ in a Chicago gospel church and knocking around Mississippi juke dives. There's something to be said for immersion and damn, it sounds good in a bio. If da Paper Boy sounded any more like Otis he'd probably be in court, but he fortunately comes no-where within a bull's roar of being a parody.
This re-issue came out to coincide with the visit by Reed & The True Loves to Australia for the 2010 Bluesfest, and it's appended by a five-track EP that includes a cover of Motorhead's "Ace of Spades." At no stage does irony come into this. It's played straight with a full-on, R & B groove that you'd suspect Lemmy might even like in his mellower moments.
That said, "Roll With You" itself is a moderately laid-back album to these ears. There are smatterings of soul revue with horns and infrequent yelps but "Live At The Apollo" or that live in Atlanta thing by James Brown it is not. It's good listening, and if not overly energised that's probably the intention. Great voice,fine playing but the record takes few chances, doesn't trip up.
Perhaps there's a clue where Reed might go next in the two live tracks on the EP ("Stake Your Claim" and "So Tired of Wandering") where the engine room cooks up a storm and the rest of the band responds in kind. There's a loose liveliness in the horns and a playfulness in Eli's formidable vocal that have otherwise been elusive in the studio. Maybe for the next one he could recruit Lemmy as producer. Now that is a thought...- The Barman
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