Ride the One

Canadian singer/harmonica player Paul Reddick’s PR proclaims that “For over 25 years [he] has been melding poetry, mystery, darkness and light along with an extensive knowledge of the history and traditions of blues.” We are also urged to realize that “blues is a beautiful landscape” and to “redefine this powerful music not through preservation but celebration and exploration.” I don’t find much in the way of 12-bar blues here, but, thanks to the thumping beats, there are a lot of numbers that ought to get you up and bouncing around. Backed by guitar, bass and drums, Ride the One gets off to an exuberant, noisy start with growling vocals, pounding drums and wheezy harmonica, but soon settles down to a pulsating, hypnotic chant on the third track, “Mourning Dove.” This is followed by “Gotta Find a …,” which describes a search (for what?) set to a magnificent reggae-like beat. The quietly sensuous “Love and Never Know” is a welcome anomaly to the relentless high energy of the rest of the disc.