Paul Reddick
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Paul Reddick


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The best kept secret in music


"Sing Out"

"Acclaimed producer and blues musician Colin Linden has noted that fellow Canadian Reddick is "one of the most original and inventive singer- songwriters in blues today." So, it's no surprise that Linden lends a heavy hand as producer and player on Reddick's latest release. Imagine a rocks and gravel voice intoning beat poetry lyrics alongside the eerie, raw Delta vibes of Fred McDowell, Son House or Sleepy John Estes and you'd be close to the muscular yet expressive folkloric sound Reddick and Linden create.

At their best, songs like the pulsing, euphoric title tune (a centuries old form of work song), a Gospel-suffused, slide guitar braced "Five Silver Dollars" and moody tour de forces such as "Some Afternoon Alone" and the gloriously understated "This Time of Year," Reddick and Linden (who plays all of the guitars and mandolins) stitch a melody-rich quilt that mesmerizes as it constantly surprises. A trio of drummers (Bryan Owings, Gary Craig and Stephen Hodges), bass player Larry Taylor and John Dymond along with Richard Bell's soulful, long-noted piano and organ work all add visceral sonic textures to select songs.

Discreet employment of distorted scratchy 78 rpm record reverberations, various local loops and Reddick's deep-toned, slurred harmonica fills also effortlessly embellish this criss-crossed landscape of American traditional music without getting in the way.

Linden is front and center on two originals. In fact, his blurred, ethereally energized "Hook's in the Water" is one of the album's highlights. His growling, lowdown "Dog Catcher" powerfully recalls Chicago songwriter and bassist Willie Dixon and that 1957 South Side sound."

-Gvon T
Sing Out
Spring 2005

- Sing Out

"Renaissance Man of the Blues"

"Paul Reddick is one of the most inventive and passionate bluesmen working today. His uncanny ability to bring the feel of the pre-war masters to life and transplant them into a contemporary setting guarantees he'll be a force in the blues nation for years to come. Check out "Villanelle" and get acquainted with Paul Reddick, truly a Renaissance man of the blues!!"

-Sheryl and Don Crow
Music City Blues Society, Nashville


"Montreal Gazette"

"Singer, songwriter and harp player Paul Reddick, steps away from fronting the Sidemen for this unusual set of songs that are steeped in rural blues forms of the deep south, influenced by various forms of poetry and filtered through the atmospheric, often rumbling studio techniques of producer Colin Linden. In fact, the album probably belongs as much to Linden ­ who provided the guitar, bass and mandolin tracks, co-wrote most of the songs with Reddick and wrote two of the songs himself ­ as to Reddick. Standouts include Five Silver Dollars, where Reddick's vocals and harp playing mix seamlessly with Linden's slide guitar and heartbeat-bass while Richard Bell's organ provides colour in the background, and the pretty Villanelle, which is nicely enhanced by Kathleen Edwards's violin. "
-Mike Regenstreif
Montreal Gazette
- Montreal Gazette

"Globe & Mail"

"Paul Reddick is a studier of long-gone prose and song, but is no duplicator. With strong participation from guitarist and producer Colin Linden, the Toronto musician has fangled new from old, taking from deep-rooted Americana to fashion an imaginative, rich record, one that is sunset in colour and fearless. There are straight blues, but they are in the minority and not as ear-catching as the soulful, easy-striding Blue Eventide and Stone of Indigo, both with vocal looping and watery guitars for texture. There is little fault throughout -- Reddick's harp play is attractive, though not abundant; the vocals suit the songs, sounding hollow and distant on some, aggressive or intimate on others. The lyrics intrigue. On an album that takes its name from an obscure verse form, it is Reddick's poetry that is in motion."

-Brad Wheeler
Globe & Mail

- Globe & Mail


"For the best variety and sound in Blues and Americana to be heard, Villanelle is the album to head straight for. You'll find yourself playing it over and over again, and never grow tired of listening to it. 10 out of 10."

-Ray Tyrell
- Blueswax

"All Music Guide"

Reddick is a talent with a unique vision of the blues. He loves the raw, acoustic, pre-war sounds and makes them the focus of his music. But rather than attempt any slavish copy of the style, he - along with producer/guitarist Colin Linden, who deserves as much praise as Reddick, being an integral part of the sound - comes up with an individual take on it, which can range from the soft gospel of "Five Silver Dollars" to "Winter Birds" with its nagging riff and wonderful mix of acoustic and dirty electric guitars. At its best, like with the title cut or "Stones of Indigo," this proves to be a remarkably inventive album, taking clichés of the genre and turning them upside down. And if this was as far as it went, it would be more than adequate. But Reddick's lyrics, influenced by a wealth of poets, are pure gold, literate and mesmerizing, while still falling very much within a blues format. He's also a formidable harmonica player, although he uses it sparingly - a word that describes much of the disc. Linden injects plenty of space into the proceedings throughout, letting the songs breathe. While the scratchy pre-war sound that's used at times might seem like a gimmick, it actually creates an atmosphere that permeates the entire record, and quite justly. An excellent, and very original, piece of work."

-Chris Nickson
All Music Guide

- All Music Guide


Rattlebag - 2001
Villanelle - 2004
All tracks available for streaming and download.


Feeling a bit camera shy


“A roots classic from the get go” Greg Quill, Toronto Star

Paul Reddick has been devoted to the study of blues music all his life. Listening closely to Muddy Waters, Sonny Boy Williamson and Howlin’ Wolf, he picked up the harmonica at the age of 12 and had mastered the instrument by the time he was 15.

Reddick formed groundbreaking blues band The Sidemen in Toronto in 1990. The Sidemen released 3 albums of original material and spent a decade touring across Canada.

Paul Reddick + The Sidemen released the critically acclaimed Rattlebag in 2001. Produced by roots music authority Colin Linden, Rattlebag is a masterpiece of “hard blues for modern times”. Praise came in from both sides of the border, along with nominations at the W.C. Handy Awards and the Juno Awards. The band also won three Maple Blues Awards in early 2002, including Songwriter of the Year and Album of the Year. Paul Reddick + The Sidemen toured the US non-stop from 2002-2004.

Rattlebag marked the beginning of Reddick’s serious attempt to re-work blues traditions with an emphasis on poetic forms and techniques. Starting at the beginning with the Alan Lomax Field Recordings, and reaching into the vast body of pre-war music in and beyond that of the type documented in Harry Smith’s Anthology of American Folk Music. Reddick has sought to combine the mystery of the blues artform with the powerful spell cast by poetry.

A musician who loses himself in performance, Paul Reddick lures the audience into that half-lit blue world he knows so well. A storyteller, innovator and highly original harmonica-player/vocalist, his performances are unforgettable.

Paul Reddick teamed up once again with Colin Linden to release Villanelle in autumn 2004. This widely acclaimed album continues the Rattlebag journey towards re-styling the traditional; sidestepping convention it searches further for new possibilities in blues music .