MORE ABOUT ELI “PAPERBOY” REED
Eli “Paperboy” Reed was born in 1983 in Boston, Massachusetts. He grew up listening to the Blues, Gospel, Soul and Country music that his father would play at home, on records and on the guitar. At age 14, Reed, inspired by Sonny Boy Williamson II and Ray Charles, he began playing the harmonica and singing, soon teaching himself guitar and piano, as well. At 18, Reed decided to postpone college and move to Clarksdale, Mississippi to further the musical education he had begun. There he worked closely with the renowned blues drummer, Sam Carr and appeared regularly at such clubs as the Dew Drop Inn (Shelby, MS), Red’s Lounge (Clarksdale, MS) and other clubs in the north Delta.
Following nine months in the Delta, Reed made the classic trip north from Mississippi to Chicago, in his case enrolling at the University of Chicago. Taking advantage of its location on the city’s South Side, he played organ at the More Like Christ Christian Fellowship church, led by former soul singer the Rev. Mitty Collier, known for her hits with Chess Records in the 1960s. Playing in church, and meeting the expectations of a demanding congregation, complemented the education Reed had received in the juke joints of Mississippi.
At age 21, Reed returned to his Boston hometown to forge his own sound, leading his band, The True Loves, a seven-piece ensemble and playing all original music. Their first album, Eli “Paperboy” Reed Sings “Walkin’ and Talkin’ (For My Baby)” and other Smash Hits was recorded in mono in December of 2003 and self-released in September of 2004. Since then, Reed and his band have been wowing audiences around town and throughout the east coast and the album's garnered critical praise. He just recently played to sold out crowd at Austin, TX's famed South by Southwest Music Festival. A new album, to compliment the high energy live show, is in the works for early 2007 on Q Division Records.