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Juno-winning blues man Paul Reddick releases a ‘love letter to Italy’ on his live album

Blues musician Paul Reddick founded the Cobalt Prize.

Juno Award-winning Toronto-based singer, songwriter and harmonica master Paul Reddick celebrates life’s bounties of great friendship, great music, and great surroundings in this, his new release — Alive in Italia — available now.

“This record is somewhat of a love letter to Italy and our friends there,” Paul said. “If I had one wish come true today, I would be sitting on a patio on the narrow, cobbled streets of Italy’s Sestri Levante…. I’d be kept cool by a sea breeze and be drinking a glass of red wine.

“I would be celebrating in the fine company of my Italian and Canadian musician friends and savouring the endless beauty of that place and that moment. We would talk about the shows we have played together, and we’d remember and drink to one evening in particular: the one in a wooden-beamed theatre among those piacevole foothills of Piemonte…

“The one where we performed as one, come fratelli, as brothers, Alive in Italia.”

Dubbed the ‘Poet Laureate of the Blues,’ Paul created the annual Cobalt Prize for Contemporary Blues Composition in 2014, which encourages the growth and vitality of the genre.

Alive in Italia serves as a reflective retrospective of his long, storied, boundary-breaking songwriting career, which spans 10 previous albums  — including the Juno Award-winning Ride The One.

Beyond Paul, with his inimitable vocals and harmonica, the live band on the record includes musicians Steve Marriner and Tony D of MonkeyJunk — who Paul has collaborated with as a writer.

The Canadian crew was joined by Gab D on bass and Andrea Costanzo on drums — plus Fabio Marzaroli on guitar for “The Other Man” — known across the country as “The Gamblers,”  all of whom live in Italy.

“We travelled to them,” Paul quipped of the choice location in northern Italy’s stunning Piemonte region.

“I was on tour in Europe with MonkeyJunk about two years ago, and we decided to extend our visits,” he continued, starting from the beginning of the album’s creation. “A beautiful friendship was born.

“We put together the band that you hear on Alive in Italia, and, one year later — Nov. 10, 2019 — we were back together again to record at Museo Tornielli in Ameno, Novara, Italy.

“This recording is a document of friendship, music, and the endless beauty of Italy. And when it all came together, it inspired this emotional and celebratory concert.”

Alive in Italia is available now.

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