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Eli ‘Paperboy’ Reed pays homage to country legend Merle Haggard by putting a soulful spin on some classic tunes. Recorded in Brooklyn with longtime collaborator Vince Chiarito (Black Pumas, Charles Bradley), Reed taps into all the heartache of Haggard’s iconic catalog and channels it into explosive, high-octane performances that blur the lines of genre, geography, and race to reveal the common, distinctly American threads tying them all together.
Down Every Road stems from an idea that Reed has contemplated since the earliest days of his career, setting Haggard favorites against the soul music that he’s become best-known for in his own celebrated work. Keeping almost all of the country legend’s original melodies and song structures intact, Reed 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.