Paul Reddick Sugar Bird

Too bad Paul Reddick is a bluesman. Otherwise, he’d be receiving the same attention that Canadian songsmiths like Justin Rutledge and Kathleen Edwards are receiving. Is it because contemporary blues songwriting is known for its endless recycling of hoary old clichés? It’s too bad because more listeners should have discovered that Reddick’s a gifted, poetic soul capable of breathing life into a moribund genre. Take this line from "Blue Wings”: "love passes by when I am gone, hands wet with the dew of flowers, try to never travel such roads of love, minutes like hours.” Beautifully produced in four separate sessions by guitar playing cohort Colin Linden, who also contributes the poetically remarkable "John Lennon in New Orleans,” Reddick’s third solo recording is more upbeat than his prior masterpiece, Villanelle. Garth Hudson’s breezy accordion graces three tracks and Reddick sings and plays occasional harmonica with an obvious sense of fun. Blues may be an ancient form but in Reddick’s inspired hands, it remains a potent modern force. (Northern Blues)