New bottle

By JIM SULLIVAN  |  April 7, 2008

Q Division producer Ed Valauskas had been hearing about Reed from musician friends. He invited him to a barbecue in the summer of 2006. Reed sang a Sam Cooke song with the band Furvis. “As soon as he opened his mouth, I was laughing my ass off,” says Valauskas. “He was that good. Someone who could really sing. From there, it was ‘Come in and record.’ ” Valauskas was the new CD’s primary producer.

There have been several versions of the True Loves. These days, it has settled into Spraker, bassist Mike Montgomery, drummer Andy Bauer, trumpeter Patriq Moody, and tenor-saxophonists Ben Jaffe and Paul Jones. Nothing fancy about what they do. “The Satisfier” is a horn-driven boast; “She Walks” is a break-up ballad with the singer down on his knees, begging her, “Please!”

“I think I’m a pretty outgoing personality,” Reed says, “and it comes across in the songs. I like easy-to-understand imagery. My natural instinct is to perform very large, to act it out. You’ve got to sell it. We’re very uninhibited about what we do. If you listen to soul music from the era, all those guys were in their 20s at the time and energetic. And that’s what we are about — the madness, the attitude, the powerfulness of the whole package.” He adds: “A lot of today’s music is a little bit ironic, and I don’t have any of that. It’s not about irony.”

His aim? “Something catchy. Something you can wrap your mind around. I wanna make records you can dance to and some that make you cry. To me, the best song in the world is a boy-girl song. And those are the songs that end up being timeless.”

ELI “PAPERBOY” REED & THE TRUE LOVES | WFNX/Phoenix Best Music Poll Concert | Bank of America Pavilion, 290 Northern Ave, Boston | May 10 | 617.931.2000

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