LINER NOTES TO #126CD CAPO VOODOO: SONGS by HARVEY REID
Harvey Reid’s 10-volume set of Capo Voodoo books show in detail over 170 ways to use all kinds of partial capos to play new music. They are the only in-depth source of information on this subject. His new Liberty FLIP capos are revolutionizing partial capoing.
1- Dreamer Or Believer (H. Reid) (3:16) 1990
2- St. James Infirmary (Trad.) (5:49) 2009
3- From Where I Stand (H. Reid) (5:22) 2009
4- How Can I Keep From Singing? (Trad.) (3:39) 2011
5- The Cuckoo (Trad.) (6:55) 1991
6- The Lakes of Pontchartrain (Trad.) (7:09) 1988
7- I Have Finally Found A Home (H. Reid) (3:48) 1998
8- Once Upon A Time (H. Reid) (7:38) 1993
9- Maybe Someday (H. Reid) (4:56) 1992
10- Farther Along (Trad.) (5:37) 2001
11- A Very Old Song (H. Reid) (5:13) 2009
12- Roving Gambler (Trad.) (3:27) 2007
13- Short Life Of Trouble (Trad.) (4:43) 2000
14- The Boatman (H. Reid) (3:49) 1988
These songs were played with a partial guitar capo, a rather obvious new idea that for many reasons still remains uncommon, though guitarists have been using altered tunings for centuries. Guitarist and songwriter Harvey Reid was the first to write, publish and record partial capo music, beginning with his first LP in 1982. He has continued to discover new capo ideas, and hundreds of songs & instrumentals from his catalog of over 500 tracks feature dozens of different capo configurations. His numerous books reveal hundreds more ingenious ways to find new music with partial capos.
Collected from 11 previous albums, these songs span 25 years from 1986 to 2011. Played on 6 & 12-string acoustic guitars (plus a 6-string banjo track) they show some musical examples of the unexplored new world of sounds and chord voicings that partial capos offer.
Reid’s pioneering work pleads the case that partial capos are a vital new tool for players of all levels. A wealth of new chords, chord voicings, resonances, fingerings and open strings become available in both standard and altered tunings. Partial capos are often confused with tunings, though they yield different results.
This recording shows where the partial capo began, though it is just the tip of a large musical iceberg. A fast-growing number of guitarists around the world are now exploring this exciting new frontier in guitar. Ideas from this fresh landscape of musical possibilities are showing up in a huge variety of guitar music of all kinds.
The Shabram Chord-Forming Capo (renamed the Third Hand Capo in 1980) first appeared in 1975 and it was not until 1996 when the second partial guitar capo appeared, the Shubb c7b 3-string model. There are now nearly 20 types of partial capos being made that all have unique uses, and thousands of players of all styles, from total beginners to the world’s best players, are experimenting with this amazing hidden world of guitar music.
1- Dreamer or Believer (E) Standard tuning [CAPO: 0 2 2 2 0 0] Written in 1982, one of the very first E suspended (Esus) capo songs. This version is a duet with Rick Watson, as was the 1st LP recording of this song in 1984. We used Shubb Esus capos, and Third Hands in ‘84. It creates a banjo mood. (p)(T1)
2- St. James Infirmary (Cm) Open C tuning: C G C G C E [CAPO: 0 0 0 0 0 1] Uses a Woodie’s G-Band Model 1 capo, which allows the key chord voicings. An amazing tuning/capo combination, it has a wealth of interesting chord voicings. From the Blues & Branches CD. (b)(DB) 
3- From Where I Stand (E) Standard tuning [CAPO: 0 4 4 4 4 4] Played in C position, with just C, F, G and Am chord shapes and some cross-picking with the flatpick. The low E drone is the key to this configuration, and it adds a haunting sound to the 4 chord (played as non-barre F.) From the Blues & Branches CD. (T1)(f) 
4- How Can I Keep From Singing? (Eb) Tuning: Standard -1 [CAPO 0 2 2 2 0 0] A re-recording of an Esus capo version of this old hymn I released in 1996 on the In Person live CD. It has nice resonances and bass lines, which is typical of the Esus set-up (DB)(b) 
5- The Cuckoo (Gm) Standard guitar tuning. [CAPO: 3 5 5 5 3 3] I have done a lot of this “faux-frailing” over the years on both guitar and 6-string banjo. I use 3 fingerpicks and a bare thumb, though it is doable with nails. With the banjo capoed up to Gm it has just the right low-end drone. From the Steel Drivin’ Man CD. (6B)(p) 
6- The Lakes Of Pontchartrain (C#) Tuning: Standard -3 [CAPO 0 2 2 2 0 0] This is also in Esus with the 12-string guitar tuned down 3 frets. It’s such a nice guitar sound I included it here. I use Esus capos more than any other capo configs. From the Of Wind & Water CD. (12)(p) 
7- I Have Finally Found A Home (B) Tuning: E A D G C E [CAPO 2 2 4 4 4 2] This is the first song I recorded in what I call A suspended-- where the B string is tuned 1 fret sharp to C and the capo forms an A chord. It behaves a lot like Esus but is brighter. Anne Dodson on vocal & penny whistle and Matt Szostak on hurdy gurdy. From the Fruit on the Vine CD. (T1)(b) 
8- Once Upon A Time (F) Tuning: Standard -4 [CAPO 0 2 2 2 2 0] 12-string, played in G position with G, C and D and Em chords, so it has a very strong 5 chord played as a D shape but with both E strings open, which makes it modal. It has the roaring drone of an open tuning, but a refreshing minor chord and familiar voicings. You fret the 6th string next to the capo at fret 2 to get the bass root of the Em chord. (which is actually a D note.) From the Circles CD. (12)(f) 
9- Maybe Someday (D) Tuning: D G C E A D [CAPO 0 2 2 2 0 0] An unreleased song, and so far the only one done this way. It’s an unusual capo/tuning set-up that I call “Easy E,” essentially the old vihuela tuning. With the partial capo it is good for beginners; here it is jazzier. The capo is Esus but the tuning & capo makes it an open major chord instead. Here the guitar is tuned down 2 frets so it sounds in D but the capo concept is in E. (T1)(b) 
10- Farther Along (E) Tuning: Standard [CAPO 0 2 2 2 0 0] Another Esus song, worth including because it is a well-known song, and does not sound like DADGAD tuning or Celtic guitar at all. More of a Joseph Spence gospel guitar feel. You get some nice bass lines, the Bm chord is refreshing, and the 2 chord (F#7) is played as a 2-finger E7 shape but you also fret next to the capo on the B string and you get 5 strings ringing. From the Great Sad River CD with Joyce Andersen on vocal & fiddle. (T1)(b) 
11- A Very Old Song (Eb) Tuning: Standard-1 [CAPO 0 2 2 2 0 0] A re-recording of the first Esus song ever, released in 1984 on A Very Old Song LP and then in 1996 on the In Person CD. I wrote it in 1981 I think. It basically just has 1-4-5 chords in D position with a Mr. Bojangles type bass-string walkdown. The melody parts I play in 2 octaves are not easy, but illustrate how Esus gives you flowing melodies, moving bass lines, the plaintive suspended sound of DADGAD tuning, plus the open-string resonance you expect from either a partial capo or open tuning. (b)(DB) 
12- Roving Gambler (E) Tuning: Standard [CAPO 0 2 2 2 2 2] Just a 2 chord song, played with just D and G chord shapes, to sound in E. The G chord (sounds as A) plays normally and the “D” has a nice low E bass root. This is the simplest and most fundamental partial capo set-up. From the Song Train CD with Joyce Andersen on vocal & fiddle. (CF)(f) 
13- Short Life Of Trouble (C) Tuning: E A D G C E [CAPO 2 2 4 4 4 2] A second example of the Asus capo configuration. Flatpicked with standard capo 2, it shows how Asus can be very useful for solo bluegrass guitar. It hints at dulcimer sounds, has familiar Carter-type bass runs, with a nice taste of mountain modal flavoring. You play in G position, partial capo makes it A, full capo bumps you up to key of C. From the Girl I Left Behind CD by Joyce Andersen, with her on vocal & fiddle. (f)(T1) 
14- The Boatman (Bbm) Tuning: Standard-1 [CAPO 2 2 2 2 0 0 ] From the Of Wind & Water CD. Played in Am, just has Am-G-C chords. Capo makes it Bm but tuning is down 1 fret to Bbm. Leaving the top 2 strings open lets it go modal, and colors the C chord with an add9. There is some crosspicking on middle strings, with top 2 strings droning. (f)(T1) 
(T1)= 1984 Taylor 810 guitar, (DB)= 2006 Dana Bourgeois JOMC, (12)=1987 Taylor maple jumbo 12-string (6B)= 1988 Deering Maple Blossom 6-string banjo. (CF)= Charles Fox prototype by Dana Bourgeois (p)= fingerpicks (f)= flatpick (b)= bare finger. Shubb, Woodie’s & Third Hand capos were used.
(*)= partial capo used (BF)= bare finger (FP)= fingerpicks (T)= 1984 Taylor 810 Rosewood dreadnaught guitar #3086, (T2)= 1990 Taylor 810 Rosewood serial #10500, (LK12)= 1999 mahogany Taylor Leo Kottke model serial #990409140, (D1)= Early 70’s metal-body Dobro #0410, (D2)= 1996 round-neck Dobro Model 90 Deluxe serial #B107696, (L)= 1999 rosewood Larrivee model C-10 serial number #27236, (L3)= Larrivee 1999 Model LS-05 serial #27236
All selections ©P1981-2010 by Harvey Reid (Quahog Music BMI)