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PAUL REDDICK - Wishbone (2012)
He's a well-respected artist within the Canadian blues community, and British mag Mojo is a fan, but Toronto, ON songsmith Reddick deserves far greater recognition. This is the fourth solo album he's recorded since the demise of earlier band the Sidemen, and it maintains the high standards of Villanelle and Sugarbird. Reddick isn't afraid to mix in rock and roots elements in a take on the blues that sounds simultaneously retro and fresh, while the production work of Colin Cripps keeps things coherent. Cripps and fellow guitarist Kyle Ferguson co-wrote many of the tunes with Reddick, while Tom Wilson collaborated on "Devil's Load." There's a ZZ Top feel to the raunchy "Whiskey is the Life of a Man" and "I Ain't Sentimental" has a Keith Richards-style groove and wailing female backing vocals from Samantha Martin. Reddick's delivery on some cuts sests the laidback vibe of Clapton, while tender closing ballad "1000 Years" features his best vocal performance. There are recurring characters, like Honey Babe and Ruby, but you don't need to pick up on any narrative threads to enjoy the album. Reddick's expressiveness as a harmonica player beefs up the sound and adds a moody, noir-esque atmosphere. This is an early candidate for Canadian blues album of the year.
TRACKS: 01. Photograph 02. The Other Man 03. Dancing in A Dream 04. Whiskey Is the Life of a Man 05. The Ballad of Wishbone 06. Devil's Load 07. Luna Moth and Butterfly 08. I Ain't Sentimental 09. Take Me Ruby 10. I Have Lived You Long 11. 1000 Years
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