Definitely not the new kid in town, but last Friday I had the chance to see this blues whiz for the first time at the stellar Pearl Company in Hamilton. When I noticed the band was playing again at Toronto’s Cameron House on Wednesday night, I grabbed the chance to see them again. Twice in one week? Hell yes! They’re that good.
In 2013, Paul Reddick was nominated for five Maple Blues Awards (several of which he has already taken home in previous years) for his most recent album Wishbone, including Recording of the Year. Quite an honour! Wishbone was also ranked #3 best blues albums of 2013 by Mojo Magazine. His reputation is growing both nationally and internationally, and it’s no surprise why.
Reddick’s harmonica playing echoes the legendary Hamiltonian King Biscuit Boy. I’ve never seen moves and sounds like the ones he’s got, certainly not in person. Not only that, but his voice is silky smooth, like a cup of lemon tea on a sore throat. Like a glass of Bailey’s and coffee on Christmas morning. Like the sun’s rays soaking into your skin on a hot summer day. OK, you get the point.
It’s the whole package that make his shows so damn good. An award-winning songwriter and performer, Reddick is backed up by a band of excellent musicians at the top of their game. Greg Cockerill on guitar, Kurt Nielsen on bass and Daniel Neill on drums complete the tight band, filling in some of the solos and keeping the groove going all night long.
The band is playing a residency at the Cameron House on Wednesday nights through January. If you’re in town, I strongly recommend you check them out. Here’s a video of the band performing at the Toronto Waterfront Blues Festival last summer:
The tune above doesn’t feature much of Reddick’s exceptional harmonica playing, so here’s a short clip of an older show, to whet the palate:
Photos by Stephanie Beatson