This is the latest in a series of spotlights on the bands and artists participating in Sound Of Our Town, a free, all-day, and all-ages event at the Lawn On D in South Boston on Saturday, October 4. Sound Of Our Town is a collaborative effort between the Boston Music Awards and Vanyaland, and serves to kick off the BMAs voting season by unveiling the 2014 nominees and showcasing some of the best homegrown acts from our city’s music scene.
We’re less than a week away from Sound Of Our Town, so it’s high time to shine that spotlight on some heavy hitters from our city’s music scene that are bringing their music to those around the world. Eli “Paperboy” Reed might have been raised in Brookline, but he’s become a global ambassador for soul and gospel with a profile that continues to grow.
Earlier this year he dropped his latest critically acclaimed album Nights Like This after a rousing Valentine’s Day homecoming at the Sinclair, and just when we thought he’d be riding off that record for a while, Reed dropped new track “The Difference” via a Jordan Training ad campaign (see video below). The song is a continuation of the pop influences that are creeping into his soul and R&B background.
Wrote Ground Control magazine in April: “Blurring the lines between old, classic and new as Nights Like This sets a very powerful precedent… [T]he songs here are solid and ambitious certainly and, as long as the singer keeps being smart and ambitious and writing, recording and releasing albums which prove it, his star is destined to shine brightly.”
When Nights Like This dropped in February, Reed had a lot to say about the ever-so-slight pop direction of his new record. He told Vanyaland: “I felt that it was time to breakout of the niche that I had sort of created for myself and to try to do something that could potentially expose my music to a much wider audience. If I didn’t do that, I’d end up making the same kind of record for the rest of my life and that’s something I didn’t want to do. I have soul music running through my veins so that’s always going to be a part of what I do. That fact allows me to make some different choices with production, writing and approach but my voice and style will still bring it all back home. My hope is that I can reach a mass audience and use that platform to expose people to some of the music that I love.”
The man is unstoppable, and one of Boston’s greatest musical talents of the 21st century. Check out a sampling of Sir Reed below…