Since he first burst onto the Boston music scene in 2005, local crooner Eli “Paperboy” Reed has established himself as a big name in soul and R&B. After gaining momentum with Somerville’s Q Division Records, Reed signed with Capitol and made his major label debut, “Come and Get It!,” in 2010. He’ll release his fourth album, “Nights Like This,” on April 29, and he’s back in town for his first Boston show in three years. In anticipation of his Valentine’s Day show, where he’ll share the stage with fellow Brookline High School graduate Ruby Rose Fox, Reed revealed his favorite songs that are infused with the sounds of heartbreak.
1. “Your Love Is Worth the Pain” by Little Johnny Truitt “This is a deep soul ballad from the late ’50s. It has got this unbelievable build and he’s pouring his heart out. I just love this aggressive, raspy music.”
2. “Making Plans” by Conway Twitty “This is a country ballad my dad used to play around the house, so I heard it growing up. Its lyrics go, ’Cause you’re making plans to leave/ I’m making plans to be lonesome.’ It’s definitely a heartbreaking tune, and it blurs the lines between country and soul.”
3. “(I Cried at) Laura’s Wedding” by Barbara Lynn “This is one of my favorites. Basically, [this song] is about her love interest marrying her sister. It’s heart wrenching.”
4. “The Girls From Texas” by Jimmy Lewis “This one’s kind of a heartbreak song. . . . The idea is that he gets into a relationship with a woman and she ends up pulling a knife on him [to make him stay]. It’s a different take on heartbreak.”
5. “Wanted” by Alan Jackson “This is a newer one, or from the ’90s at least. It’s about a man putting an ad in the personal pages to get his woman to forgive him. It’s one of my favorites. I often do a cover of it at my shows.”
Eli “Paperboy” Reed plays with Ruby Rose Fox and SoulLeLuJah DJs, Friday, 9 p.m. at The Sinclair. Tickets: $15. 617-547-5200, www.sinclaircambridge.com.Eryn Carlson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.