Paul Reddick

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Paul Reddick

A music career that goes back 20 years. Seven albums of original music. Recording sessions with Kathleen Edwards, Colin Linden, Scarlett Jane, Treasa Levasseur, Susie Vinnick and dozens more. Countless tours in Canada, the United States, and Europe. Juno nominations and seven Maple Blues Awards.

Meet Paul Reddick. Singer, songwriter, harp player raised in the blues, but grown up in the far wider roots music scene. Mojo, the most influential of all the British music magazines, recognized him from 3,000 miles away, and wrote about his “wayward brilliance.”

And now, as his seventh album, Wishbone, is released, new superlatives are likely to be scattered in the media. After three albums as leader of The Sidemen, the first going back to 1994, and another three solo recordings, Wishbone is both lyrically and musically a powerful, poetic and personal statement.

Reddick has always been influenced by poets of the past and present, and his earliest musical influences were the early masters of the blues; think Charley Patton, Robert Johnson and generations of harmonica aces. Add to that the visceral shout of Stones-like rock and roll, the growl of Tom Waits and the wordplay of Dylan and Leonard Cohen — all that, too, can be heard in the shadows of his wholly original songs.

Indeed, Wishbone may well be Reddick himself — with a past that’s wrapped in rural marshes and trees and vines and seedy city bars and motel signs with missing bulb. Is he a blues wanderer? A visionary poet? A friend or a lover? Or, like medieval minstrels or itinerant bluesmen from 70 years ago, is he merely a stranger passing through?

Whatever — the music, underlined by his expressive harp playing — is simultaneously a century old and totally brand new, as contemporary as the clatter of a condo construction site but much easier on the ears.

With Wishbone, Reddick — with the support of the Weber Brothers— will be doing what he has always done: Taking his songs and his briefcase of Hohner harps on the road.

Another town, another audience, another club, another concert, another festival — the road goes on forever, as Texas singer Robert Earl Keen once wrote, and the party never ends.

He was a stranger here in deep dark air
Came in on the train of love
Straight out of nowhere
Straight out of nowhere