Album Review #1

April 28, 2016



Not many artists would take the chance in the blues landscape to be exciting, brave and refreshing all on one recording.

Unless your name is Paul Reddick.

Album release is May 20 2016.

John Emms

Full Review @






Stony Plain Records Signs Paul Reddick

Unofficial Canadian Blues Poet Laureate Is Ready to 
Ride the One on Label Debut CD Coming May 20
April 14, 2016
EDMONTON, AB – Stony Plain Records has announced the signing of singer/songwriter/harmonica player Paul Reddick and will release his label debut CD, Ride the One, on May 20. Produced by Colin Cripps (Blue Rodeo) and recorded at Union Sound Company in Toronto, Ride the One showcases 11 all-original songs and includes a backing band that features special guest Steve Marriner of MonkeyJunk on guitar, keyboards and backing vocals. Reddick co-wrote three songs on the most recent highly-acclaimed MonkeyJunk album for Stony Plain, Moon Turn Red.
Ride the One is a musical reference to the hypnotic grooves explored on Paul Reddick’s new release. Deep rhythm, intense singing and harp playing combine with his distinctive blues poetry. As Reddick puts it, “Blues is a beautiful landscape;” and he’s created this special atmospheric video to talk about his vision of the music:
Reddick’s songs on Ride the One have a palpable sense of urgency, passion, energy and grit that transcend any usual categorizations of the blues. Its traditional blues themes of love, death and redemption are bonded by the crucible of rock-edged performances that clearly demonstrate why the idiom birthed the emergence of rock ‘n’ roll and other forms of roots music.
For over 25 years, Paul Reddick has been melding poetry, mystery, darkness and light along with an extensive knowledge of the history and traditions of blues. An unofficial poet laureate of Canadian blues, Mojo Magazine praised his “wayward brilliance” in an earlier review. Reddick’s song, “I’m A Criminal,” was used by Coca-Cola in a TV commercial that aired during the Super Bowl.
“Ensuring the long-term health of blues in Canada has become a passion for Paul Reddick, and the motivation behind his creation of the Cobalt Prize, aimed at celebrating songwriting innovation within the form,” wrote FYI Music News in an interview with the musician.
“The singer/harmonica player has never forgotten he was once in that position when he formed The Sidemen in 1990, a band whose skillful balance of tradition and originality laid the foundation for a new crop of homegrown talent,” added the site.
One of those bands that picked up the torch was MonkeyJunk, who returned the favour of Reddick’s influence on them with member Steve Marriner’s participation on Ride the One, Reddick’s fourth solo album.
According to Reddick, his desire to sponsor the Cobalt Prize was “to encourage people to write blues songs – songs that expand, explore and refresh the blues tradition, to broaden the possibilities, assumptions and expectations and audience for the blues,” said Reddick in the interview. “In a lot of ways, Bob Dylan has always been a master at that, and if there were one song I wish I could have written, it would probably be ‘Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door’.”


Soundcloud Updated…

July 13, 2015






Here are some nice articles about the Blues Awards and The Cobalt Prize :


Five things to do this weekend: Jan. 16 to 18


The Globe and Mail


Blues Summit
The legacy of the blues genre is secure, but its future is in question. To that end, a new honour has been minted. The Cobalt Prize, to be presented at the national Maple Blues Awards gala at Koerner Hall on Monday, is a songwriting prize established to refresh blues music beyond the standard 12-bar shuffles. Speaking of refreshing, the Mavis Staples enthusiast Samantha Martin is one of the livelier participants in this weekend’s Blues Summit, an event of conferences and showcases that includes her appearance at Monarch’s Pub at the Chelsea Hotel (Saturday, 10 p.m.). To Jan. 19. Various prices and venues,


MUSIC – The Star

Maple Blues Awards celebrates musicians, and pays attention to the

bottom line.


By:  Visual Arts, Published on Fri Jan 16 2015

Blues music has been called all sorts of things from soulful to misogynist. But a business? A viable business at that?

Some time before, during or after the Maple Blues Awards Monday Jan. 19 at Koerner Hall “Stormy Monday” will be sung, with the lyric’s famous line about “the eagle flies on Friday.” This means payday. Once was that was about all the business a blues star might worry about.

Not any more. The awards, the 18th to be hosted by guitarist and raconteur Danny Marks, is the party-time face of the sober-minded Toronto Blues Society (TBS), which has personnel — how about an “office manager?” — not hitherto associated with the blues. TBS celebrates its 30th anniversary this year mostly by having convinced government bureaucrats — TBS gets some $100,000 in grant money — that blues business also meant good business.

“We started as an entity to protect the music,” says TBS board chair Derek Andrews, part of the founding group along with John Valenteyn and David Barnard who in the mid-’80s together helped make Albert’s Hall the local blues bar destination.

“There’s been a certain amount of ingenuity in what we’ve been able to pull off. But for years the music industry had a condescending view of blues music. But we’ve overcome that. We’ve repositioned the blues brand.

“We’ve had to. An artist is a small business. I don’t think every ballet dancer coming out of dance school knows how to organize a business. Our members — there are around 500, about 80 per cent of them musicians — need to know how to keep their heads up above water. And it’s not always just about playing a gig.”

They shouldn’t look to the music industry’s major players for help, warns Bruce Iglauer, who’s giving the keynote speech Sunday at Blues Summit 7, the biennial blues conference at the Eaton Chelsea hotel leading up to the awards.

“Right now, nobody knows how to make a profit from any genre of music,” says Iglauer, who heads Alligator Records, the Chicago-based blues label in its 44th year. “Record companies don’t know how to even make money from having hits because services like Spotify allow a lot of people music for free.”

New to the Maple Blues Awards this year is the Cobalt Prize, for original blues composition. The $1,000 first prize is donated by local blues songwriting veteran Paul Reddick, who says, “blues needs new blood, and not only among its audiences but also in its repertoire.”

“We had 110 submissions for the prize, which was incredible,” Andrews adds. “We got some straight-up electric Chicago blues. But there were others pushing boundaries.”

Some boundary-pushers can be found among the awards show performers, including Steve Hill, the extraordinary songwriter/guitarist from Montréal.

“We need to step back and see the blues form for what is was,” says Danny Marks. “The 12-bar form was something imposed on the blues, not something you would have heard in Africa. So we need to open-minded about it because these days the blues come from all over the world.”

Alligator Records survived and grew due to the new artists and new music it cultivated, Iglauer maintains.

“I am 67 years old and very aware of the aging of the blues audience,” he adds. “I don’t want this music to become a museum piece. To do that I have to make records that are significant to an audience much younger than I am.”

The 18th annual Maple Blues Awards is at Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor St. W. Jan. 19 hosted by Danny Marks. Peter Goddard is a freelance writer and form Star music critic. Reach him at .




November 11, 2014




The Toronto Blues Society and Paul Reddick are proud to announce the creation of a new Contemporary Blues Composition Award…the Cobalt Prize. The intention behind the Cobalt Prize is to promote blues music through exploration of its form. The winning composition will be judged on its ability to creatively utilize blues traditions within the broad contemporary musical landscape. Particular attention will be paid to aspects of instrumentation, melodic invention, song structure, lyrics, and production possibilities. The successful song will refresh and enrich blues as an art form.


Submissions are now being accepted for the 1st ever Cobalt Prize. To enter, please email your submission to by December 14, 2014 at 11:59pm [NOTE: Only ONE SUBMISSION/TRACK PER COMPOSER will be accepted].

Submissions must include:

1) One (1) attached WAV (preferred) or MP3 file of the track to be considered (NOTE: Only one track per composer will be considered)
2) Track information (including track title, lyrics sheet, and composers’ name)
3) Contact information (including first and last name, email address, current city and province of residence)

Deadline: December 14, 2014 at 11:59pm

Judges and Prize

Judges for the inaugural Cobalt Prize will be Tom Wilson, Divine Brown and Brad Wheeler. A cash prize of $1000 will be presented to the winner at this year’s Maple Blues Award on January 19, 2015.

A Word from Paul…

Blues music is a treasure trove of classic songs that maintain their relevance over time despite, or perhaps because of their endless reproduction. There is something synchronous about the respect for tradition in blues and the loyalty of its audiences; this overarching sense of familiarity is one of the strengths of the form.

I prefer to think of blues as an expansive colour palette, however, which can be used to create ever new musical landscapes. We have seen this happen many times before; in the virtuosity of Robert Johnson, in Willie Dixon’s immeasurable contribution to post-war song-writing and music production, and in the evolution of blues into other genres, most notably rock-n-roll. Blues has been an inspiration for so many artists that any sample is bound to disappoint. First in my mind are Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Keith Richards, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and recently The Black Keys, who managed to transform hill country blues into bluesy pop music stardom, but I could go on… The significant question here and now is: what’s next?


Paul Reddick

Adherence to tradition can be both a strength and a weakness, especially given music industry’s the ever-changing tides. Blues audiences, while loyal, often arrive at the blues scene through bands like the Rolling Stones and are of a similar (if ever-cool) vintage. Blues seems a harder sell among younger generations, especially in its live forms, which should give pause to the entire blues community. Preservation of blues traditions must be accompanied by the promotion of its creative potential within contemporary culture. Blues needs new blood, and not only among its audiences, but also in its repertoire. New blues compositions must be written for the tradition to not only exist, but evolve.

I have always felt that the blues as an art form is wide open, full of creative possibilities that allow it to transform and thrive without losing its essential character. What constitutes this character—which characteristics are thought as defining of blues—will inevitably vary somewhat across time, groups and individuals. Dictionary definitions offer a mere starting point to understanding the blues that books and various commentaries on the subject can deepen considerably, but the most complete picture of the genre emerges from the vast body of recordings available to us. The most important feature of this musical picture as I see it is its vitality—its raw expression of the living pulse of life—and such vitality can be sustained only through the act of creation. It is my opinion that it is more important for a blues artist to learn how to draw inspiration from blues classics than it is to learn how to play them; for all the value of reinterpretation, it is invention that propels art and artists forward.

The intention behind The Cobalt Prize is to encourage and support blues music by promoting the creation of new songs that both draw on the rich traditions of the genre and manage to strike a fresh chord with contemporary audiences. It is my hope that compositions created under its purview will speak to the past of blues music in a way that is relevant to the present moment and inspiring to future generations of this genre’s practitioners and fans. Anyone with an interest in music is welcome to enter the competition, regardless of past experience with the form. Let the canon of blues classics inspire you and let your musical and life experience outside of the blues inform you—let go of preconceived notions of what blues is and identify what it is to you. There is plenty of room for more classic songs in the blues repertoire and no reason why you cannot be the one to write such a song. Welcome to the Cobalt Prize!

NOTE: I am very grateful to the Toronto Blues Society for supporting me in my vision of the Cobalt Prize, their association with and promotion of the project, as well as their ongoing commitment to blues music and the blues community. I would also like to thank my co-writer, Agnieszka Polakowska, for helping me to clarify and convey my ideas… for example, the word “purview.”

– Paul Reddick

November 11, 2014

New Recording.

October 14, 2014

I have been recording tracks for a new CD, with Colin Cripps producing, it has been sounding great, more to do…more to TBA…



April 23, 2014

Greg Cockerill and I will be back on the VIA train to beautiful B.C. with dates between the 18th and 26th of May ,  TBA, performing as a duo and with the full band.  VIA_Passenger_Train

Saturday Night Blues

April 19, 2014

I had the pleasure of being interviewed by the great Holger Peterson for CBC Saturday Night Blues

it is playing tonight, April 19 at 9:00 pm on Radio 1