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Scott Borchert

“I’m not a big believer in things that are new or original,” says Eli Smith. “I think that’s usually pretty bullshit.” We’re sitting in the Jalopy Tavern, in a quiet section of Red Hook, Brooklyn, figuring out what to call the music Eli plays with his string band, The Down Hill Strugglers. Eli is rubbing his forehead with one hand and gesturing with the other and staring out over his formidable beard at a...