Sugar Bird is one of those special disks which crosses the desk every so often. It is an effort where artist Paul Reddick pays homage to the past, yet creates something unique to the present.
What Reddick does here is take early Americana/roots blues stylings and then writes new material that fits that style. Well actually he writes some of the songs and Colin Linden a great Canadian bluesman pens others – he also produces the CD.
The result is really quite compelling.
At first listen you find yourself wondering just where Reddick found the music. There is a definite blush of age in terms of style, like he unearthed a trove of older material and has brought it back to life.
Then you get into the lyrics on subsequent plays. You begin to get into the poetry of the pieces, and you hear more of the modern.
There are some absolutely beautiful pieces here, starting with Climbing Up the Hill. It is a song Reddick and Linden co-wrote, and they were on their game the day they did.
If By This also cooks. It is another co-write, and Linden even adds guitar here, as he does on several cuts. He plays a mean guitar and it blends so well with Reddick's vocals and harmonica.
This is of course a polished presentation. It is Reddick's fourth release on Northernblues Music so he knows his way around a studio. He is relaxed in the environment, and it shows.
It helps too to have Linden as a guide. He too is a veteran producer, and writer and performer.
It's two sage bluesmen combining their considerable skills on multiple levels here.
Now this is older styled blues, so it might be an acquired taste for some, but this is a CD that you really need to check out if blues are an interest at all. So sweet it is.
Reddick's website is www.paulreddick.ca
-- CALVIN DANIELS
-- Review first appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper April 22, 2009 - Yorkton, SK. Canada