Eli "Paperboy" Reed was introduced early to R&B legends like Solomon Burke, Sam Cooke, and Johnnie Taylor. He began performing at age 18 in Mississippi lounges and blues bars, followed by time in Chicago. There's just one problem: Reed often sounds as white as Justin Bieber. But Reed pours himself into this music, wailing with unaffected passion and conviction on his major-label debut, Come and Get It! He never resorts to vocal tics or tricks to sound soulful, so he has a pretty good chance of winning over even the most finicky listeners. The songs, all originals, are firmly in the vein of southern R&B, circa mid-to-late '60s — full of punchy horns, sweet strings, and sighing female choruses. All the while Reed testifies age-old tales of triumph and longing. — Mark Keresman
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