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Brooklyn Soul Festival unearths the music genre's hidden greats

Eli Paperboy Reed

Eli Paperboy Reed

During the past few years, Brooklyn has become the center of the revival of classic soul music.

Bushwick is home to the leading retro-soul label, Daptone Records, and Park Slope’s Southpaw plays host to the monthly Dig Deeper series, which brings long-forgotten soul singers back to the stage.

This weekend the founders of Dig Deeper and the up-and-coming soul singer Eli “Paperboy” Reed are presenting a two-day festival aimed at drawing attention to underappreciated soul greats.

Reed, who headlines on Friday night, spoke with amNewYork about some of the musicians who will be performing.

Barbara Lynn
“She’s one of my favorite singers of all time. She’s one of the sweetest people you’ll ever meet, but when she gets onstage and starts playing guitar, look out.”

Vernon Garrett
“He was my No. 1 pick for the festival. When I was living in Mississippi, I would play his song ‘At the Crossroads’ in the clubs. This will be the first time he ever performed in New York. He’s been performing for 50 years, so it blows my mind that he never played here.”

Betty Harris
“As far as female soul singers who don’t get enough credit, she’s at the top of the list. I don’t think she ever made a bad record.”

Renaldo Domino
“Renaldo never had a career as a touring performer. He’s excited to be playing the songs live that he recorded so long ago. He works as a cable guy in Chicago. Every so often he gets to play in front of 500 fans, which is an amazing thing for him.”

If you go: Brooklyn Soul Festival is at The Bell House on Fridat and Saturday at 8 p.m. 149 Seventh St., Gowanus, 718-643-6510. $25, day of show; $40, two-day pass.

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