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isidore wreck


The 1st Annual Wreck of the Isidore Concert was a sellout, and the 2nd is planned for Nov 30, 2003 in Kennebunk, Maine, where the ship Isidore was built, and where all the 16 crewmen were from. I wrote an epic song telling the amazing story of the shipwreck, and Joyce and I have put together a special musical program, with some history and poetry, plus a presentation from Barbara Barwise, a local historian. The Brick Store Museum is presenting it and hosting a reception. The concert will be on the 161st anniversary of the 1842 disaster, which occurred just a couple miles from my home.

More info on the concert

Harv & His Heroes Cont'd With a favorite musician, James Burton. Most known as Elvis Presley's guitarist, he also has done impressive work with EmmyLou Harris, the Everly Brothers and countless others. He told me that Elvis never did an encore, and left the building to avoid being mobbed, which is why the emcee would say to the screaming fans "Elvis has left the building...OL In the close-up, maybe you can see the gold "TCB" necklace James always wears. "Taking Care of Business" was Elvis's motto, and the other matching necklace is on Elvis's neck in the grave. (If you believe he is dead.)

harvey + james 1983
h + burton 2003

I started to play autoharp when I was 18, when I borrowed one from my friend Rob. I am more deeply involved with the guitar, but have always played autoharp at my concerts, even when I a

Autoharp Men- ... with Bryan Bowers in Nashville while recording the "Autoharp LegacyOL project.Thanks, big guy, for helping me finish my CD, and to Ron Wall for all his help.

m at a guitar festival. It takes me somewhere special I cannot get by any other means, and I even used to carry it with me when I hitch-hiked with my guitar 30 years ago. I never learned to play from anyone, never took a lesson or class and don't read music. It was immediately clear to me what I wanted to do with the instrument, so I have always just played my own way, and have never even jammed with another autoharp player. I can't even play very well with my eyes open. My style of playing borrows a lot from my guitar background, and my decades of playing intricate fingerstyle guitar mean that my right hand thumb and fingers are very strong, trained and very accurate, especially in doing different things at the same time. I have a more counterpoint style than most players. The lowest note on my autoharp is only 1 note higher than the lowest note on a guitar, and I am fond of the warm low-end of the harp, which you usually don't hear because it is a small instrument. When I put my head against the harp when I play it, I hear the bass, and I have spent years learning to amplify it, so you can hear what I hear. That is another key part of why I sound different than other people, and the fact that I can hear my harp well means that I have not converted it to a diatonic instrument for more volume (most autoharp players set up their instruments with a lot of double strings, and play louder in fewer keys. If you like the key of D you tune your Eb strings to D and have 2 of them.) This also means that I can play sparsely and be heard. I sometimes play only one note on the harp, and very much like the sweet tone. The instrument is most commonly played with a busier, strumming chordal style. Autoharps are generally set up to play in just one or a few keys (mine is best in F and C, though I use it in D and G also on the CD) and most serious players have a number of instruments they use on stage. Since I already have way too many instruments, I have avoided carrying multiple autoharps around. This held up my autoharp CD, since I did not want the album to be monotonous. Luckily I was able to borrow 7 other instruments (thanks to those who loaned them!) to get some different tones and sounds. The hard part was that the chord buttons were set up and the instruments were tuned differently than I am used to, and I had to compose and perform on quite unfamiliar territory. Autoharp hero Bryan Bowers (below) was passing through on tour, and graciously bought in his pile of 8 harps that he let me borrow for the recording. I used 3 of them, and they sound beautiful, and his contribution was the thing that enabled me to finish the album. He also has been a favorite autoharp player for many years

We went to Italy, and had a glorious time. Had some serious trouble just a few days after being married. I caught my wife (left) staring at a much older naked Italian man, and another young dude checking her out! Caught on film. Mama mia! The naked guy was armed with a rock and a sling, so I controlled my outrage.








Spent a lot of pleasant evenings overeating (R) and I drank more wine in 3 weeks than I usually drink in 5 years. This was to promote longevity, and the wine plus the tomatoes were purely medicinal, to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Played at the Sarzana Guitar Festival. (L) Not your average view from the stage. Kind of hard to keep my eye on the guitar with a 14th century castle parapet staring at you. Great acoustics too, and if you can imagine, they served wine and Italian food under those umbrellas. Quite efficient, to be protected from both sunburn and heart attack while enjoying music. Take note, you American festival promoters.






We spent the last week in southern France, in Proven?e and the Riviera. We got a German tourist to shoot us (with a camera) on the wall above the Pont D'Avignon on a perfect May afternoon.

(R) Speaking of perfect May afternoons, we were unable to resist the allure of the C(TM)te d'Azure and went bathing (below) in Cannes and St. Tropez. (If you look closely, guys, you will see that my wife is naked. Please no one tell Joyce that I put a naked picture of her in my newsletter.) There were many other naked people there too and it was hard to sneak this pic of her without people thinking I was taking shots of them

.I had an accident with the camera, and it went off while pointed at the sky. (R) Joyce wisely decided that it was a great picture, and it is a good reason to get a computer and go to my web site to the newsletter so you can see what a perfect, cloudless blue sky looks like in color. Some of you New Englanders may have never seen one before.


The next recording project will be another collaboration CD with Joyce Andersen to be released in late Spring or early Summer 2004. No title yet, but it is probably going to be quite down-home and rootsy, with strong old-time, bluegrass and blues flavorings. We are also planning to do a duo Christmas album before too long.

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