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These 21 selections include an assortment of fiddle tunes, rags, blues, hymns, sea songs, classics and standards written or arranged for guitar. Solo guitar I have found to be a quite fragile and personal thing- and I'm becoming convinced that listeners can sense my moods and even my thoughts when I play. So in order to preserve the music as "alive" and as unaffected as possible, I spent several weeks by myself in a cottage on the ocean in Maine with digital recording equipment, to capture the musical moments as they happened, rather than trying to conjure them up in the studio.The result is an absolute minimum of barriers between the artist and listener, and the closest thing possible to having you actually sitting in front of the guitar.


6-string, 12-string & Slide Guitars: Harvey Reid
Arrangements, Production, Engineering, Mixing: Harvey Reid
Recording: April and May 1989 at The Cottage, near Bath, Maine, with a Panasonic SV-250 DAT recorder, Audio-Technica 4051 microphones and Lexicon digital reverb
()July 1989 FISHTRAKS, Portsmouth, NH, with a Sony 2500 DAT and 4051 mikes.
() Sept 1988, FISHTRAKS, Portsmouth, NH, with a Sony PCM F-1 & AKG mikes
Digital Mastering: FISHTRAKS, Portsmouth NH
CD mastering: Toby Mountain, Northeastern Digital
Guitars: 1984 Taylor rosewood dreadnought 6-string (T), 1965 Wood-Body Dobro (W), 1974 mahogany Gallagher (G), 1987 Taylor maple jumbo 12-string (12)
Design, Type and Graphics: Aphro-Graphics
Cover Engraving: "The Island", George Andrew (1883)
General Thanks: To all the great players before me who illuminated the path; to those who've been listening all along; and even to all the jerks who talked during my gigs through the years, who unknowingly encouraged me to practice harder.
Specific Thanks: Ken Reichel, Audio-Technica, Panasonic, Dr. Lou, Rex Holmes, to MG and the Reidclan for support, to Janos Starker for inspiration and to Dawn for light.
(^) a partial capo was used http://www.partialcapo.com
©, ® 1982-1989 by Harvey Reid. (Quahog Music, BMI) except "The Fisherman" © by Leo Kottke (Round Wound Sound),"Moon River" ©1961 by Henry Mancini (Famous Music Inc.),"Summertime" © by G. Gershwin (Gershwin Publishing, Chappell & Co. Inc.) all ASCAP, used by permission.

This recording was done direct-to-master, with no splicing, editing, or overdubbing of any sort, and is all-digital except The Elves and the Shoemaker, which was recorded by Ron Freeland in 1982, direct-to AMPEX 2-track with Neumann mikes at TRACK Studios, Silver Spring, MD. Due to the lack of background noise in digital recording, the sounds of things like breathing, clothing, and instruments working may be more apparent than usual.You might even be able to hear the ocean or the wind here and there, but I doubt it.

About the music...

"Suite: For The Duchess" (H. Reid) (6:33) Written in a hammock in Wisconsin in 1982 for an old girl friend, it draws about equally from the Celtic and Baroque music I was listening to at the time. It exploits heavily the opportunities offered by the Third Hand Capo. (T)(^)()
"The Albatross" (H. Reid) (3:40) Open Ab tuning, with bottleneck. The albatross is a large, solitary bird that inhabits the air of the southern hemisphere's oceans, spending most of its time aloft. The author is a large, solitary guitarist who inhabits the land areas of the United States, spending most of his time in transit. Written in a house in Virginia in 1980. (^) (W)
"Cindy/Cripple Creek" (Trad.) (3:00) After years of playing traditional music I finally found a way to generate this fundamental fiddle and banjo dance rhythm on the solo guitar. It's a weird sort of reverse banjo-style frailing, whatever that is. Capo 5. (^) (T)
"Summertime" (G. & I. Gershwin) (7:29) Evolved out of years of playing brunches in restaurants, and as usual is largely improvised and very impressionistic. I'm actually surprised you can't hear the foghorn. (T)
"Canal Street Strut" (H. Reid) (2:32) Describes the unique and wonderful feeling you get in your feet when you walk in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Also in honor of Merle Travis. (T)()
"Prelude in Dm" (J.S. Bach) (1:41) Music like this disputes theories about monkeys with typewriters eventually writing the Constitution- no guitarist could ever have written it. Basically it's Segovia's arrangement, though no doubt he wouldn't have approved of it on steel strings. (T)
"Woodchopper's Reel/ Jimmy in the Swamp" (Trad.) (3:43) Two of my favorite obscure fiddle tunes, transcribed quite faithfully from the fiddle and flatpicked with David Surette on rhythm. (T)()
"The Fisherman" (Leo Kot tke) (2:44) The first instrumental I ever tried to learn, and still a favorite guitar piece after 17 years. Leo 's playing really brought American guitar into focus.(T)
"Highwire Hornpipe" (H. Reid) (3:56) Unusual in that the entire melody takes place on the E string with a drone bass. In the first part, only one finger of the left hand is used. Very much a minimalist approach to guitar, not unlike the unusual challenges of highwire walkers.(12)()(^)
"Medley: Amazing Grace/ What A Friend We Have in Jesus/ Swing Low" (Trad.) (4:31) Roots-style bottleneck versions of three well-known non-secular songs. Nobody knows where slide guitar came from, but when it works it sure works. Open Eb tuning. (W)
"For Whom The Bell Tolls" (H. Reid) (5:10) Somehow evokes the flavors of Spanish guitar, even though my only background comes from soundtracks of bad Westerns. Works well for the campfire scene, when the bullet-draped banditos challenge Dean Martin in a knife fight for control of the gang of outlaws. Also suitable for many Hemingway books.()(T)
"Für Elise" (L. Beethoven) (1:28) A famous and lovely piece of music that only is played by students and children, since it's too easy for serious pianists. Somehow I got a hunch that if you tuned the guitar to Open Eb tuning, then put a Third Hand Capo on, you could play it exactly, note for note, from the piano. I'm not aware of any other way to do that on a guitar. (^)(T)
"Slipped Through My Hand" (H. Reid) (3:20) Originally just the guitar breaks from a song of mine about the passage of time and looking backward, it's grown wings of its own. (12)()(^)
"Still Life With Blues" (H. Reid) (4:00) Improvised one evening, unlike most blues songs, which involve waking up in the morning. Sometimes guitar strings seem to want to be bent and snapped instead of stroked or plucked.(T)
"Daybreak In Dublin" (H. Reid) (4:16) Being mostly Scottish by blood, I love traditional Celtic dance music as well as coarse bread and single malt scotch. I'm usually too lazy to learn the tunes so I write 'em instead. This one was created for a concert on St. Patrick's Day, 1989. (^)(T)
"Moon River" (H. Mancini) (3:14)I'm not quite sure how it ended up here, probably another refugee from brunches. It's almost certain to cause drunks to sing along, which must mean something. I think I like it most now because I used to hate it, or at least I thought I did. (T)
"Dirty Dish Rag" (H. Reid) (2:21) Written in a driveway in Kent, Ohio, this one pits a Scruggs roll in the treble against a Travis thumb line. For those who don't know what that means, it is supposed to evoke ragtime piano moods. Should go well with beer and pizza. Capo 2 (T)
"The Elves And The Shoemaker" (H. Reid) (3:07) The first solo guitar piece I ever wrote, it arrived in '72 or '73. The story gets told a bit hastily, and there isn't time to build proper suspense. The story really warrants a 9 or 10 minute piece. That's Elves, not Elvis.(G)()
"Sailing In The Lowlands" (Trad.) (3:13) A haunting sea song, to finish up. This one is part of the "Golden Vanity" family of ballads. To some extent it's an excuse to use the quietness of digital recording to play achingly slowly and just let the wood sing the song. (^) (T)