Paul Reddick: Wishbone
On which the durable blues shouter reinvents himself via the trad wayward wandering man persona.
Like the press jive says, “ Wishbone is a mythical character who walks through the night, meets all the lonely people, discovers strangers in strange places and keeps moving”. Full credit, Reddick does a fine job of fleshing out the ghostly outline.
The opener “Photograph” sets the roughed-up and ramblin’ mood in gravel-gargling tones just down the road from Tom Waits’. The backing unit is fully in the moment, propping up Reddick with a splintered wall of spooky swamp rock presaging things to come. Thi is the vibe sustained by Reddick’s backing crew of genre stalwarts including guitarist Kyle Ferguson drummer Kevin Warren and keyboardist/vocalist Maia Davies.
From there it’s onto dusty roads and tales of strange folk in straight situations and vice versa. For local blues fans, think Catl with the theatrical flair of Hugh Dillon.
“The Ballad of Wishbone” totally nails the gorgeous side of it and while Reddick brings nothing new to the genre, he sure knows his way around all aspects of it. The creeping Delta funk of “Luna Moth and Butterfly”, the raucous blues shuffle of “Take Me Ruby”, the rockabilly swing of “Devil’s Load”. The N’Awlins strut of “Whiskey Is The Life Of A Man” is ably complemented by Reddick’s street preacher howl and jumped-up harp honking, while shivering guitars and Reddick’s hollow tones bring a moss-draped sensibility to “ I Have Lived You Long”.
After three previous solos albums, could this semi-concept collection be the breakthrough? Sounds like maybe could be. Stay tuned come JUNOS time next year.