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Liner Notes to #103 Coming of Winter

103 cover art

The Coming Of Winter, begun on the first day of Fall, was recorded in isolation in a small cottage on the Atlantic Ocean near Bath, Maine. These 8 original and 5 traditional songs and instrumentals, performed on the acoustic guitar, violin, autoharp, viola and mandolin&shyp; share a theme, lyrics, and a mood that are consistent with the change of season, impending cold weather, and the presence of the ocean. It is intended to musically and emotionally reflect the arrival of the winter season, the needs of winter music listeners, and to bring the artists' interaction and performances directly to the listener, without the editing, splicing,and distracting production that almost always accompany modern recorded music.

Harvey Reid
Guitars, autoharp, mandolin, lead + harmony vocals, jew's harp
Brian Silber Violin, viola, harmony vocal on "Guide Me"
Lynn Rothermich Lead vocal on "Guide Me"

Arrangements, Production, Engineering, Mixing: Harvey Reid
All Lyrics: Harvey Reid
Digital Mastering: FISHTRAKS, Portsmouth NH
Guitar: 1984 Taylor rosewood dreadnought 6-string, GHS strings
Autoharp: 1973 Oscar Schmidt 21-chord Appalachian
Violin, Viola: by the Holzapfel family of Baltimore, Maryland
Design & Graphics: Aphro- Graphics
Cover photo: (...the beach in winter near the Cottage) Elizabeth Reid
Special Thanks: EMR, Tom Daly, Jeff Landrock, Rex Holmes, Terry Kuhn, Lynn, Margaret, Fil, Samantha, and to the North Atlantic for yielding some of its magic.

(^) A Third Hand Capo in Esus configuration was used on the guitar. (Standard tuning, sometimes tuned low.)
For information, contact

(+) an additional track was overdubbed; all other tracks recorded live
All selections ©, 1982-1986 by Harvey Reid. (Quahog Music, ASCAP) All rights reserved.
This recording was done with Nakamichi mikes, a TEAC tape recorder, DBX noise reduction and Lexicon reverb.

1. The Last Dance Of Summer (Reid/Silber)(2:29) A joyous jig, it wrote itself on the impossibly lovely afternoon of the Autumnal Equinox. Autoharp, violin.
2. Twilight (H. Reid)(5:24) About light, darkness, shadows, love, isolation, civilization, nuclear energy, the moon, and several other seemingly disparate things. Recorded at twilight on a very gray day at The Cottage. (^) Guitar, vocal, viola. (+)
3. The Bonnie Streets Of Fyvio (Trad.)(2:07) Learned when I was a child. The words, that I probably should have sung, tell of a tragic love affair between a Scottish girl and an Irish soldier, I think. Maybe vice versa. Autoharp, viola.
4. The Fisher's Hornpipe (Trad.)(1:42) A favorite old-time fiddle tune, it always reminds me of the happy days of summer street fiddling. Luckily Brian played fiddle here and not me. Mandolin, violin, jew's harp. (+)
5. Old Portsmouth Town (H. Reid)(5:16) Recorded live during Dick Pleasants' radio show on WGBH in Boston in Jan '85 with Rick Watson on piano and vocal and Linda Schrade on vocal. Portsmouth is an old town that's been through many changes, but the water, the tides, and the winter are a constant though it all. The types of boats may change, but there are always boats. (^) Guitar, piano, 3 vocals.
6. The Hunter's Moon (H. Reid)(7:41) Recorded quite impromptu and almost entirely improvised, during our first evening together at The Cottage. The Hunter's Moon is in October, the one after the Harvest Moon.(^) Guitar, viola.
7. The Road To Dundee (Trad.)(2:42) Yet another old and lovely Scottish melody we were playing and recorded without really planning to. The words that I don't sing start out: "Cold winter was howling o'er moor and o'er mountain..." Autoharp, viola.
8. Guide Me (H. Reid)(3:19)An old-sounding harmony song, inspired by hearing the music of Daniel Womack, a blind gospel singer. A plea for strength, written during an intense fever, it was done here the old-fashioned way&shyp; live, gathered around the mikes. Guitar, 3 vocals.
9. The Coming Of Winter (Reid/Silber)(5:34) Written at The Cottage during a rainstorm and recorded moments later. Listen really carefully and you can hear the sound of the rain on the roof during the quiet parts. Autoharp, violin.
10. The Minstrel's Dream (H. Reid)(22:10) A guitar solo of epic proportions, about the Awakening of Knowledge in the younger days of a minstrel, when he realizes that music is his calling. There are many levels of trickery in this tune, including a Third Hand Capo, a dropped tuning, and a lot of difficult, unorthodox guitar techniques. It is bravely presented here live and entirely unedited, clams and all, without overdubs or splices. I'm pretty sure I did a totally perfect take of it just before and forgot to turn on the tape machine. That particular perfection belongs to the North wind now. The bagpipes stuff is done with two hands on the fretboard, Eddie van Halen style. (^) Solo guitar.
11. Lord Of The Dance (Trad.)(2:25) One of my very favorite melodies, and usually the first one I learn on a new instrument. Also known as "Simple Gifts" to most Americans. It makes me think of old-time harvest dances. Autoharp, violin.
12. Archibald MacDonald Of Keppoch (Trad.)(3:57) This eerie Scottish air pops up in my head every time I go to the ocean on a gray day. (^) Solo guitar.
13. Gathering The Harvest (H. Reid)(5:14) A hymn and a prayer, and a song for Thanksgiving, written Oct. 6 during the project. Autoharp,vocal, guitar (+).

NOTE: This recording was originally released in 1986 as an 85 minute tape that has been shortened to allow it to be issued on compact disc. (Incidentally, the original tape was long because the 22 minute cut,"The Minstrel's Dream" made it impossible to release it as an LP, and the tape medium allowed time to include large amounts of music.) Look for the 3 "missing" cuts to be re-released on other recordings.