Page 1 of the Online Edition of the 2004-2005 Harvey Reid Newsletter...

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Hello Everyone...

This is my yearly hello from the fringes of the music business and this corner of the Maine coast I call home. This is my 30th year as an independent artist (a fancy way to say I have no job and buy my own insurance), my 23rd year as a small record label owner, and the 12th time I have made one of these newsletters. That’s a lot of miles, guitar strings, cups of coffee, cardboard boxes, mouse clicks, and a lot of hours chasing a dream and lasso-ing a life-style. My hair, teeth and organs, as well as my optimism and passion have all made it into the new millennium and into my 6th decade intact.
A few years ago when the internet emerged, it looked like paper newsletters would go the way of the horse and buggy, but so many of you have said you wanted it to continue and there have been so many problems with spam, spoofing and viruses that I can’t rely on e-mail or web pages to get this to you.

Have had an extremely busy year with performing and travel, but had some good laughs, grew some good tomatoes, and saw a lot of people, places & things. Amid the chaos, I managed to release a new CD, my first DVD and a book.

The only obvious sign of decay is the crabgrass in the yard which has taken advantage of my busy schedule. The supposed slowdown in the music industry is not affecting me, and I had one of my best years ever. I had a blast playing at a lot of festivals around the country.
Gas, food and lodging are getting more expensive, and it’s no simple matter taking the music to the people. But the musician’s life is a good one, and I am having no mid-life regrets. When people have money, that’s sometimes all the entertainment they need. When times get harder, people may need music more than ever. If the times keep getting harder, we can test my theory. (There won’t be a quiz.)
I hope all of you are warm and well and well fed and I’ll see you down the road....

* For you Palm Pilot users- I licensed 13 seconds of my Suite in F for use in new photo software from Splash Data, called “Splash Photo” which is a photo-viewing utility for handhelds. No need for observant folks to tell me someone stole it. *There has been progress on the book of guitar arrangements that has been years in the making (or not making...) I was busy with the DVD, re-publishing the guitar textbook (see inside) and this book will get done in 2005. We’re editing it and starting work on layout and. Most of the notes are written down now. I am getting very involved in the exciting new technology behind the Fishman Aura amplification system, and have been doing research and in-store workshops showing people how it works. I think it is a real breakthrough, and in this noisy world we need all the help we can get.

Got some new guitars this year you might see at a show soon- a Chrysalis and a Taylor 12-string.

I have made it to every show since my career began. I don’t have an exact count, but it is around 5000 performances. I have not been sick, injured, drunk, or delayed by traffic, never missed the plane or bus. Bad weather has never even kept me from a gig, nor has poor planning, car trouble or just bad luck. I still get a knot in my stomach when I am home on a weekend night off, thinking maybe I forgot to go to a show somewhere. I don’t think I’ll get a gold watch; maybe not even a pat on the back.
Eventually you’ll be dropped off the mailing list if you are not updated. The newsletter list goes back 10 years. Please update if you can. I don't sell, trade or give away your information. Send an e-mail to

DVD Fever!!

Just released the first video! A concert from Ohio in April 2003 was beautifully filmed by the Cable 9 team, and my video guru told me he rarely encounters such good camera work and audio, and recommended I do something with it. I liked the selection of songs I did, and I liked the way I played them, so now you can listen and watch as if you were there that April night. Surround sound, with lots of close-up camera work. Plus it has 14 hidden audio tracks (the 1st cut from each of my CD's) so there is a lot of music there.


Scotland Suite: Part 1, Silver Blue, Cindy/Cripple Creek, In Dark Winter Rejoiceth, Sing Me A Lullaby, Gospel Medley, Star Island Jig, I Have Finally Found a Home, California Blues, Waltz of the Waves, Flowers of Saskatchewan, Maplewood March, Highwire Hornpipe, Above the Clouds, Cryin’ Shame, Trimmed & Burning


I am very excited about this new collaboration CD with fiddler/singer/songwriter/wife Joyce Andersen.
A mix of original, traditional and covers, it showcases tight harmony singing and instrumental work. We share the songwriting and lead vocal roles. So far fans, radio and critics have given us an enthusiastic thumbs-up for the 13 songs and 2 instrumentals.
This CD is rootsier than the last; it features a healthy dose of slide guitar and gospel blues flavors, with a hot fiddle tune, country duets, ballads and 4 new originals. Songs by Mississippi John Hurt, Blind Willie Johnson, Lemon Jefferson & Norman Blake are interspersed with some old traditional favorites, plus some brand new songs from both of us. I think this is a strong CD, with good material played as well as we can play it.
There is some 12-string guitar, 6-string banjo, and more mandolin than I have ever put on a record. We recorded most songs live in complete takes (as usual), and did a lot of jamming, so the music is fresh and alive.
Jack of Diamonds, Church Bells, Good Years, Trimmed & Burning, Can’t Let Go, Losers in Love, The Spring Hill Reel, Revelations Roll, Billy Gray, Primitives, Bound For the Promised Land, I’ll Fly Away, Louis Collins, More Precious than Gold, Ode to Billie Joe
Best roadside sign of the year-->

was in Beausejour, Manitoba. I swear that this is a Real Photo, undoctored. I had to rub my eyes when I saw this. Sure makes you want to ask a few questions, which I did not do, so I can’t answer yours. The business was well-maintained and looked quite prosperous. (HR)




I am very pleased to announce the re-publication of a book I wrote in 1980 and that was published in 1984. It is called “Modern Folk Guitar” and it has been quietly in print for the last 20 years, only readily available at college bookstores where it was being used as a guitar textbook.
I taught folk guitar at the University of Maryland from 1976 to 1979, and wrote this book with my friend & mentor Dr. Terry Kuhn, a career music educator. It was first published by Random House, and later sold to McGraw-Hill, where it remained until they let it go out of print at the end of 2003.
Now that it belongs to me, I took a hard look at it, and decided that it was still a very thorough, readable and useful book, and was amazed that I wrote it. (Even more amazing--it was written before computers, on a typewriter.) Guitar chords have not gone out of date, so it is once again available to the college folk guitar community (where it has been widely used and very well-received), and also to those of you who are interested in having one around the house.
The book is a hefty 330 pages, and is designed for adult beginners who know nothing about music or guitars. It assumes no knowledge, and ends with basic fingerpicking. It’s not about the fancy guitar playing I do for a living, but is intended to show ordinary people how to accompany songs with the guitar. It has a lot of information: songs, exercises, theory, history, advice on buying and caring for instruments, changing strings, tuning, performing and writing songs. Critics called it comprehensive.
Modern Folk Guitar was the first folk guitar book ever to pass through what is known as “peer review” or “scholarly review” which happens when things like scientific papers get published. It went through a lengthy review process, and was published with the scrutiny, suggestions and blessings of actual guitar educators. This is not an idle distinction. The wall of how-to-play-guitar books that greet you when you walk into a music store were published by whomever wanted to pay the printer to print them, and generally have no academic oversight whatsoever. Authors and publishers sometimes even make up their own notation systems, and generally invent their curriculum with good intentions, but with the intent of selling books, and limited (if any) editorial supervision. Readers have no way of knowing how accurate the information is or whether the contents are based on any sound principles of education, and most “learn to play” books have had little if any scrutiny by disinterested and knowledgeable parties. It seems hard to believe that the music education industry is totally unregulated, but it is.
So instead of paying $56 at a college bookstore (which was what McGraw-Hill was charging when it went out of print), you can now get one from Woodpecker Records for $39.95. There is a web page order form and more information about it at and it is also on the normal Woodpecker web order form.It is almost worth the $ to see the pictures of me from 1982.(below)
Those of you are learning on yoru own may want to pick one up for your bookshelf, or if you have family or friends who want to add some music to their lives. And those of you who are guitar teachers who are tired of xeroxing things for your lessons might want to consider using it, and should inquire about obtaining them for your students. They weigh 2 lbs each, but I will try to bring some to concerts this year.


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