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Doug Gallant
The Guardian
Charlottetown, PEI
August 24, 2001

more reviews of Rattlebag
Canadian blues veteran packs punch on new disc

If you like your music well-muscled with some serious grit, make room on the shelf for Rattlebag, the first release for Canada's Paul Reddick and The Sidemen since signing on the dotted line with NorthernBlues Music, the high-profile Canadian blues label launched last summer by former Intel executive Fred Litwin.

Reddick is a superior harmonica player and a blues belter of the first order and he receives solid support every step of the way on this prime offering from the seasoned players that comprise his band, bass player Greg Marshall, guitart Chris Burgess and drummer Vince Maccarone.

He receives stellar support as well from guitarists Kyle Ferguson and Colin Linden and keyboard player Richard Bell.

Linden producd the album for Reddick, utilizing the much-touted facilities of The Tragically Hip's Bathouse studios in Bath, Ont.

What they came out of the studio with is a contender for best blues album of the year.

That Reddick could come of this with a nomination for blues artist of the year at both the Maple Blues Awards and/or the Junos is not a stretch.

But he's certainly worked for it.

He and his band have been plying their trade for more than a decade, developing a sound best summed up by a slugline on the CD jacket, hard blues for modern times.

Their sound is big, gutsy, and mean and has, at times, a raw energy that whips across the room like a downed power line on wet highway.

You can hear several influences in his music, Buddy Guy, John Lee Hooker, Sleep John Estes (an admitted favorite of Reddick's) and perhaps even a little John Mayall.

Reddick has toured with Buddy Guy and Colin James and opened for such other blues luminaries as BB King, James Cotton, John Mayall, and Koko Taylor.

His past work has earned him the Jazz Report blues group of the year award and a 1995 nomination for best blues/gospel album at the 1995 Juno Awards for their second album
When The Sun Goes Down.

The excitement is starting to build for this album and it's very much warranted.

Top tracks on this set include
Sleep John Estes, One Way Trip, Trouble Again, Rattlebag, and Smokehouse.

"That Reddick could come out of this with a nomination for blues artist of the year at both the Maple Blues Awards and/or the Junos is not a stretch."