LINER NOTES AND CREDITS TO HARVEY REID and JOYCE ANDERSEN's "Christmas Morning" ALBUM #119CD
1- I Saw Three Ships (Trad.) 3:41
2- Angels We Have Heard On High (Trad.) 2:55
3- Christ Was Born In Bethlehem (Trad.) 4:23
4- We Three Kings (Trad.) 3:50
5- Pretty Paper (W. Nelson) 3:35
6- Song Of The Magi (A. Mitchell) 3:58
7- Joy To The World (Trad.) 2:51
8- Beautiful Star Of Bethlehem (R. Boyce) 4:15
9- Little Town Of Bethlehem (Trad.) 2:36
10- Merry Christmas Baby (Baxter/Moore) 4:01
11- How Can I Keep From Singing (Trad.) 3:39
12- The First No√´l (Trad.) 2:19
13- First Christmas Away From Home (S. Rogers) 5:18
14- Not Grieve The Dying Light (H. Reid) 2:37
15- The Candlelight Carol (H. Reid) 2:11
16- Adeste Fidelis (Trad.) 3:27
17- Winter Grace (J. Ritchie) 3:54
18- Away In A Manger (Trad.) 2:41
Harvey Reid Vocals, Guitars, Mandolin, Autoharp, Mandocello, Lap Steel
Joyce Andersen Vocals, Fiddle, Viola
Arrangements Harvey Reid & Joyce Andersen
Engineering, Mixing & Production Harvey Reid & Joyce Andersen
Recording Woodpecker Studios, York, Maine
Mastering Toby Mountain, Northeastern Digital, Southboro, Mass.
Guitars 1984 Taylor 810 (^), Bourgeois 2004 rosewood JOMC (†), Dauphin classical (15), Charles Fox rosewood (6,16), Bozo 6-string (10)
Autoharp 1974 Oscar Schmidt 21-chord Appalachian (2,7,14,18)
Mandolin 1987 by R.L Givens (8) Mandocello 1999 by Adamas (4)
Fiddle 1991 by Robert Childs Lap Steel Supro (6)
Design & Graphics Aphro-Graphics
Cover Art Fil Kennedy Back Cover Photo Christine Nimetz
Special Thanks to baby Otto for inspiration & motivation
(*) a partial capo was used http://www.partialcapo.com
Harvey uses Elixir Strings on his guitars & mandocello.
©2005 by Harvey Reid & Joyce Andersen. Tracks 14 & 15 ©2003 & 2005 by Harvey Reid (Quahog Music, BMI) Track 5 © Willie Nelson (SONY/ATV Music, BMI), Track 6 © Anais Mitchell (ASCAP), Track 10 © L. Baxter/J. Moore (Chappell Music, ASCAP) Track 13 © Stan Rogers (Fogarty's Cove Music, SOCAN), Track 17 © by Jean Ritchie (Geordie Music, ASCAP )
When we met in December of 1990 we played Christmas music together for hours, since it was pretty much the only music we both knew. We played some of these songs on stage that week, and six years later when we next performed together, it was also at Christmas time. In 2004, as musical and life partners, after a busy season of Holiday concerts, we found the strength to get up on Christmas morning and start recording this album. So here we are again, just the two of us, playing these tunes and singing these songs that have been such a common thread in our lives.
About Joyce Andersen
After playing fiddle in a wide variety of musical settings as a backup musician for many years, Joyce Andersen is gaining considerable acclaim for her songwriting, and is becoming a sought-after solo performer. A New Hampshire native, she is equally at home playing folk, bluegrass, celtic, rock and even jazz. She can be found performing solo, accompanying various other artists, and often appears in concert collaborations with Harvey Reid. She recently released her 4th solo CD, titled Love & Thirst. Visit her website at www.joyscream.com
About Harvey Reid
After 30 years of performing and recording, Harvey Reid is a familiar name to acoustic music listeners for his peerless stringed instrument work, profound composing and songwriting, lively stage shows, and his knowledge of traditional music. He won the National Fingerpicking contest in 1981 and the international autoharp contest in 1982, and has shared the stage with many of the great pickers of today. His Solo Guitar Sketchbook was included in Guitar Player Magazine's Top 20 acoustic guitar CD's, and Steel Drivin' Man was the only recording of the last 25 years chosen by Acoustic Guitar Magazine in its Top 10 Folk CD's Of All Time. His instrumental Holiday recording The Heart of the Minstrel on Christmas Day has become a Holiday classic, and has been a perennial favorite since it first appeared in 1984. This is Reid's 19th recording, and his 3rd collaboration with Joyce Andersen.
About The Songs...
1- I Saw Three Ships (Trad.) We have never heard a good explanation of the meaning of the three ships and how they related to Christmas, but not all folk songs are logical. This one is one of the very oldest carols, and still has the old word "Amain." We like the image of all the bells on earth ringing. Harvey starts and finishes with fingerpicking, and picks up the flatpick in the middle. (†) Capo 5.
2- Angels We Have Heard On High (Trad.) We usually sing two verses of this one in our concerts, but skipped the words here. It's one of the classics that sets the mood for the Holidays. Harvey also still plays the solo guitar version he recorded in 1984 on his first Christmas record.
3- Christ Was Born In Bethlehem (Trad.) Apparently collected in Australia from the singing of Sally Sloane, this one most of us learned from the stellar 1988 Tim & Mollie O'Brien version. (^) (*)
4- We Three Kings (Trad.) The mandocello gives this one a flavor of the East, with hints of myrrh, camels, and such things. This version came alive when David Surette and Harvey worked it up as a mandolin & bouzouki duet for a concert in 1996. The tonality of the song seems to sound better on instruments tuned in fifths, and we really like it with the fiddle. The words never worked for us.
5- Pretty Paper (W. Nelson) The first one we recorded when we started this album on Christmas morning. We love Willie Nelson, and his version of it is both inspiring and intimidating. We trade off leads, with Joyce singing lead on the verses and harmony on the chorus. (†) Capo 5.
6- Song of the Magi (A. Mitchell) It's easy to sing Holiday songs about old Bethlehem without thinking about modern Bethlehem. Joyce found this on a radio interview by Anais Mitchell, who had just written it. She was generous enough to let us record it. Watch out for her‚ she's connected to the Muse. Capo 3.
7- Joy To The World (Trad.) Another one we played at our first open mike in 1990. We just play it a few times a year and put it away like a Christmas tree ornament. It feels like there is more going on than just these two little instruments, almost like what I imagine a string quartet feels like.
8- Beautiful Star Of Bethlehem (R. Boyce) This one we have only heard done by bluegrass & country artists. It is often credited to Al Phipps (1966), though many sources indicate a 1940 copyright to a gospel writer named Adger McDavid Pace and others say R. Fisher Boyce (1887-1968) wrote it around 1911. Harvey overdubbed the mandolin. (†) Capo 4.
9- Little Town Of Bethlehem (Trad.) Harvey worked this one up years ago on the mandocello and the guitar and forgot them both, and late on a snowy night by the woodstove finally found the lost guitar arrangement of it. It's a noble tune, and one of the Holiday season's best. (*)(†)
10- Merry Christmas Baby (L. Baxter/J. Moore) We could not resist including this one for fun, and possibly should have done more songs from the wacky and less lovely side of Christmas. It's hard not to think of the great Elvis Presley version.
11- How Can I Keep From Singing (Trad.) We always do this at our Christmas concerts, though it is really a hymn to be sung anytime of year. We like the words & the melody, and it has a good message. Christmas is really the only time when people sing together, and it makes you wonder if everyone sang more in the past. Its origins are cloudy: apparently Pete Seeger learned it from a woman named Doris Plenn, who learned it from her North Carolina Quaker family. Joyce played her fiddle while we both sang. It's the only way to lock in our harmonies and phrasing.
12- The First Noel (Trad.) After looming in the background as a solo guitar piece for almost 15 years, this one has finally emerged. Harvey had a good autoharp version a few years ago, but never recorded or performed it and it vanished. Dropped D tuning. (^)
13- First Christmas Away From Home (S. Rogers) Years ago we independently discovered the original Stan Rogers version of this 1979 song, released in 1983 on a live album. Stan was one of the best songwriters folk music ever had, and this one is a masterpiece. Though it is about the darker side of Christmas, it is a powerful song and deserves to be better known. Few people perform it, since it is potent stuff, and hard to get through without choking up. (†)(*)
14- Not Grieve The Dying Light (H. Reid) A prayer for the return of the light. Harvey wrote this for his autoharp album, but recorded it as just a solo autoharp instrumental, though it was originally conceived as a song and a duet with the fiddle. We have sung it only at our Christmas concerts, often as the opening song.
15- Candlelight Carol (H. Reid) Harvey wrote this one on Christmas day 2003, after a candle lighting ceremony at a Christmas eve church service. It was intended to be sung by a church choir (the words are posted on Harvey's web site) during the ceremony. The first verse is sung in the dark, then the 2nd verse with a single candle lit. In verse 3, the light is passed to each unlit candle, ‚'candles kissing candles' until the final verse is sung with all candles burning. We decided to record it as a violin instrumental, and hope that a church choir somewhere will work up a proper vocal version.
16- Adeste Fidelis (Trad.) We did not feel like doing a fast, high-energy or clever version, just this somewhat restrained and reverent one. We each play melody and harmony parts. This tune apparently dates to around 1740, from a composer named John Francis Wade. Capo 2. (†)
17- Winter Grace (J. Ritchie) A gem of a winter song from the pen of Kentucky's Jean Ritchie. We have always meant to work it up as a duet, but this solo version is all that has emerged so far. Recorded just before bed on Christmas night at about 2 or 3 AM. (*)(†)
18- Away In A Manger (Trad.) This was one of the ones we played in our first jam session in 1990. The autoharp and violin seem to weave together perfectly, and it always puts us in a sort of trance.