Happy Hour Harmonica Podcast

Paul Reddick interview

October 27, 2022 Neil Warren Season 1 Episode 72
Happy Hour Harmonica Podcast
Paul Reddick interview
Happy Hour Harmonica Podcast +
Become a supporter of the show!
Starting at $3/month
Show Notes Chapter Markers

Paul Reddick joins me on episode 72.

Paul is a singer, songwriter and harmonica player based in Toronto, Canada. He rose to prominence with his band: Paul Reddick and the Sidemen in the 1990s. Paul describes himself as not a typical blues harmonica player, often using his sparse notes with heavy delay, while also making the use of complex patterns to build interesting rhythms. 

Paul developed his songwriting approach using the structure of poetry, and his insightful and thoughtful blues lyrics have earned him the title of the Poet Laureate of the Blues, including winning the Maple Blues Award for songwriter of the year for his album Sugarbird in 2009.


Paul's website:


Styrmon El Capistan delay pedal:


Blue Eventide (Official Music Video):

Mourning Dove:

Luna Moth and Butterfly:

Paul Reddick & The Gamblers - One More Day:

Podcast website:

If you want to make a voluntary donation to help support the running costs of the podcast then please use this link (or visit the podcast website link above):

Spotify Playlist:
Also check out the Spotify Playlist, which contains most of the songs discussed in the podcast:

Podcast sponsors:
This podcast is sponsored by SEYDEL harmonicas - visit the oldest harmonica factory in the world at www.seydel1847.com  or on Facebook or Instagram at SEYDEL HARMONICAS
and Blows Me Away Productions: http://www.blowsmeaway.com/

Support the show
Paul is a singer, songwriter and harmonica player based in Toronto, Canada
There aren’t any dedicated blues venues remaining in Toronto
Toronto is not far from Chicago and New York, so draws acts from there
Blues scene in Canada is split into the different cities
Paul received a harmonica for Christmas age 13 and started playing melodies before discovering 2nd position
Harmonica is only instrument, apart from vocals
Started singing in bands in High School
Judicious approach to playing the harmonica
Blues is Paul’s foundation, and how he listened to blues bands thinking why they played what they played
Felt compulsion to find his own way to play
A lot of the blues songs Paul writes aren’t a typical 12-bar and he isn’t your usual blues harmonica player
Paul makes use of patterns a lot in his playing and influence of rhythmic Sonny Terry playing
Ride The One album, which is based on playing over one chord
Paul’s approach is understated and doesn’t contain many ‘tricks’
First band was with Paul Reddick & The Sidemen, formed in 1990
Opened up for James Cotton as part of a duo before The Sidemen was formed
Paul Reddick & The Sidemen were very popular in Toronto with their hard driving style
Uses a lot of delay effect
2001 ‘Rattlebag' album was nominated for a Juno and WC Handy Award, produced by Colin Linden
I’m A Criminal song was used in a US Coca Cola commercial
Toured the US, which started his career away from The Sidemen
Villanelle album was first under his own name
Songwriting started in earnest with Rattlebag and Villanelle albums
Used the structure of poetry to write songs
Paul’s lyrics are available on his website and won songwriter of the year award for Sugarbird album
Has been described as the Poet Laureate of the Blues and documenting his lyrics
Solo albums not conventional blues albums
Wishbone album, Blue Wing song and use of low harps
Doesn’t use higher pitched harmonicas and harp choice for key of C
Ride The One album which won a Juno award in 2016
Alive In Italia is most recent release, written as a ‘love letter to Italy’ recorded with The Gamblers
New album under development which should be released in Spring 2023, followed by a tour in Europe
Financials of releasing albums these days
Has produced a fine set of music videos, some of which he released weekly during Covid
In 2014 Paul set-up the Cobalt Prize for Contemporary Blues Composition, in Canada
Some of Paul’s music used in film and television soundtracks
10 minute question
Plays some chromatic harmonica, but mainly in the studio and not live
Different positions used when playing diatonic
Plays Hohner Marine Band, Deluxe and Crossovers
Doesn’t play any different tunings
Doesn’t use overblows
Embouchre: tongue-block
Delay pedal used is El Capistan
Mic: uses Shure Beta SM57
Uses a Lone Wolf Harp Octave pedal sometimes
Future plans and love of touring