Eli Paperboy Reed & the Harlem Gospel Travelers
Friday, Oct. 20, 2023
7:30 pm – Hering Auditorium
Sponsored by Jack & Carol Wilbur and by KUAC
Eli Paperboy Reed and the Harlem Gospel Travelers embrace unabashedly soulful music. Having grown up near Boston, Reed moved to Mississippi at age 18, playing and singing in juke joints all over the Delta before spending a year immersed in the gospel scene of Chicago’s South Side. His combination of powerful soulful vocals, heart stopping falsetto and strong pop sensibility as a songwriter merges in perfect harmony with the Harlem Gospel Travelers, a group that draws deeply on the gospel quartet tradition of the ’50s and ’60s. The Travelers hone a distinctly modern edge, though, reflective of the tumultuous past few years. Their songs are bold and resilient, facing down doubt and despair with faith and perseverance, and the performances are explosive and ecstatic, fueled by dazzling vocal arrangements punctuated with gritty bursts of guitar and crunchy rhythm breaks.
Subscription ticket: $45
Individual ticket: $35-$68
*Individual ticket prices include $3 outlet fee per ticket.
**Youth, seniors, and military service members are eligible for a $5 discount
on each ticket, available at checkout.
“Reed has a knack for imbuing narrative tropes with new meaning, transforming them into stories that couldn’t be anyone else’s.”
— NPR Music
“The ease in which singers Thomas Gatling, George Marage and Dennis Bailey move from tight vocal harmonies to showcasing their own unique vocal style as soloists give the Harlem Gospel Travelers a distinct sound.”
— Soul Tracks