Revue: The Best Of Paul Reddick is an overview of a period of intense creativity by Paul Reddick that garned his acknowledgement as one the preeminent contemporary bluesmen. Its 18 generous tracks contain many selections including the respective title tracks from his universally acclaimed releases Rattlebag with the Sidemen (2002) and Villanelle (2006). The latter was a Colin Linden production with a more acoustic feel where Reddick paid homage to those pre-World War 2 masters, like Bukka White, Sleepy John Estes and Charlie Patton, who lit those sparks that ignited Reddick’s original passion. There are also cuts from various outside projects including The Rhythm And Truth Brass Band.
Here’s a quote from my past review of Rattlebag: "It’s a welcoming reminder that the blues envelope can be pushed far beyond good-natured shuffles, mainly by lots of inspiration and perspiration." I was equally smitten by Villanelle as the following indicates: "Anyone who feels that the best in contemporary acoustic Blues and Roots isn’t emerging from Canada just isn’t paying attention."
In addition, there are also two unreleased gems Reddick dug up: Little Walter’s "It Ain’t Right" and Paul’s own "Sidemen Boogie" The unifying force is the lyrical integrity that invests every song and the intimacy which Reddick seamlessly conveys which instantly connects him to every listener.
Beyond bluesmen such as Fred McDowell and Muddy Waters, Paul’s work is equally indebted to poets like William Blake and Keeneth Rexroth. When you add it all up and combine it with his haunting way with a lyric and his superior songwriting, the magical dye is firmly cast. Paul Reddick simply won’t let you escape his hypnotic grip.