A Review of the Paul Reddick CD

by Paul Reddick

Copyright 2004 Northern Blues Music Inc.
Contact Publicity: flohil@sympatico.ca

This review is written by Dai Woosnam, daigress@hotmail.com, 2/05

Toronto-based Paul Reddick has a voice that seems to have dragged itself out of a swamp containing both typhus and cholera. And an instrumental sound that is redolent of the days when Alan Lomax and his dad went hell for leather in a desperate race to record bluesmen before they kicked the bucket.

Reddick was a new name to me. I see his last CD was much lauded and he was a WC Handy Award nominee in 2002. Now he has returned with fifteen original songs all written faithful to the Blues idiom, and all performed with gusto. Mainly, the lyrics are written by Reddick, with melodies jointly written with producer Colin Linden. However two songs are completely the work of Linden, and five others have Reddick lyrics matched with exclusively Linden melodies. (Mind you, the use of the word “melodies” with respect to all of the 15 tracks, is a bit euphemistic, let's say!)

It's fair to say that as SONGS, none of them are likely to win any Song of the Year award. But listening to all 65 minutes, three times through, one cannot not be impressed with the mood of rugged intensity that Reddick conjures up. The one word you would NOT use to describe this album is “bland”.

Difficult to pick out a track. Perhaps Linden's “Hook's in the Water”: it at least is a song worth covering. But, that said, it is really NOT about the quality of the songs here: it is all about the mood created. There is something seriously touching about the air of desolation that Reddick's voice projects.

And not just his “voice”: the whole sound has the authenticity of a smoky and smelly pre-War blues den on the wrong side of the tracks. To achieve this, Linden has assembled a fine session band, with personnel who have stellar CVs: some of them have worked with the likes of Janis Joplin, John Hammond Jnr., and Tom Waits.

And talking of “working”: the whole thing worked well on me. It soaked me in its sepia glow, right down to my 100% US cotton socks.

Buy it from: http://www.redkiterecords.co.uk
Dai Woosnam
Grimsby, England

Track List:

  1. Winter Birds ­ 3.48
  2. Big Not Small ­ 2.53
  3. Villanelle ­ 3.47
  4. Luck In Love ­ 4.24
  5. Waves ­ 4.06
  6. So Long. Thankyou. Goodbye. ­ 2.38
  7. Round This Time of Year ­ 4.23
  8. Five Silver Dollars ­ 3.50
  9. Six Was The Six ­ 6.21
  10. Hook's In The Water ­ 5.01
  11. Blue Eventide ­ 4.13
  12. Stone Of Indigo ­ 4.19
  13. Burning Fuse ­ 4.46
  14. Dog Catcher ­ 5.12
  15. Some Afternoon Alone ­ 4.06

Words by Paul Reddick; Music by Paul Reddick and Colin Linden except tracks 3,5,6,7,15 which are music by Colin Linden, and tracks 10 & 14 which are words and music by Colin Linden

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