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Eli Paperboy Reed Down Every Road Yep Roc Records

Eli Paperboy Reed Brings the Sweet Sounds of Soul Music to the Songbook of Merle Haggard with ‘Down Every Road’

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Country and soul might seem worlds apart, but they come powerfully together on the new collection from Eli Paperboy Reed – Down Every Road (out April 29, 2022) – the “inspired and raw” (NPR) musician’s tribute to country legend Merle Haggard. Pre-order the album here and stream the first single: Eli’s blistering take on “Mama Tried”!

Best known as a soul shouter and balladeer, Eli returns with a twelve-song album that reveals country roots dating all the way back to his childhood. From those earliest days sifting through his father’s record collection, it was country music that first captivated Reed’s imagination…the voice of George Jones, the attitude of Waylon Jennings and, above all, the songwriting of Merle Haggard.

Photo Credit: Roberto Chamorro

“It was so aggressively honest and edgy,” Eli remembers of first hearing Haggard. “He could get to the heart of these extraordinarily complicated emotional sentiments in two-and-a-half minutes, and that was something that really stuck with me.”

Keeping almost all of the country legend’s original melodies and song structures intact, Eli brings fresh perspective by adding Pops Staples-inspired guitar, FAME production trademarks, Stax horns, ferociously cathartic vocals and organs conjuring Memphis soul. Ultimately, with this deferential but radically-reworked approach, he proves that the heart and guts and truth at the core of Merle Haggard’s songwriting defy genre altogether.

Down Every Road Track list:

Mama Tried
I’m Bringing Home Good News
Somewhere Between
Teach Me to Forget
It’s Not Love (But It’s Not Bad)
If We Make it Through December
Silver Wings
I’m Gonna Break Every Heart I Can
I’m a Lonesome Fugitive
One Sweet Hello
Workin’ Man Blues
Today I Started Loving You Again (ft. Sabine McCalla)

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