Page 2 of the Online Edition of the 2009-2010 Harvey Reid Newsletter...
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I enjoyed making the Song Train as
a hardback book so much that I decided to make another one, which showed up in November of ‘09. It’s
Wreck of the Isidore: A Glimpse Into the Hidden History of Maine,” and
it is a 102 page book about the local shipwreck that has not let go of me since I wrote some songs about it in 2000.
The songs appeared as my “Sailor’s Fate Trilogy” on the first collaboration CD I did with Joyce Andersen,
called “The Great Sad River.”
This book is designed to get you interested in Maine history more than to be a true history book, and I am hoping that others will share my enthusiasm for some local history. If the locals aren’t interested, no one will be, and any story quickly dies if is not being re-told.
There is a music CD enclosed, with the 3 songs from the old trilogy, the 1st recording of the lost Isidore song “Unlucky Sailors” that I wrote in 2002, as well as 8 other instrumentals with nautical themes collected from earlier recordings.
|Favorite Road Sign this Year– On the side of a building in downtown Berlin, NH-- a huge billboard for a kitchen-installation company. You wonder if they chuckle about this at the CIA. Maybe they have a spy camera there, taking pictures of everyone who takes a picture of it, and chuckle at them.|
Remembering Jeff Hickey
A most unlikely but good thing has happened,
and I am wondering if I am dreaming. The autoharp was very popular in the 1890’s, though it has not been since then. You may have heard me clowning on stage
over the years about NBA players, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Olympic athletes or important cultural figures playing
the autoharp. Well, folks, it appears that there really is a supermodel now who proudly plays the autoharp. As
guest editor of issue #9 (Fall ‘09) of the thick, ultra-chic London fashion magazine Lula, Karen
Elson (whom I have never met) is a factor in why there is a 6-page feature called “The
Magic Music Box” that
re-printed an essay I wrote in 1999 about the autoharp. You have to see it to properly appreciate it, and it’s
hard to find the expensive ($16) magazine in the US. It is published only twice a year, and their web site (www.lulamag.com)
is more mysterious than helpful.
I am thrilled with this development, and with the way they illustrated and typeset my essay (which has been posted on my web site for some time) and I am fantasizing about who else might be playing autoharp and who might be inviting me to play for their parties. In their own words: “LULA magazine is created for the real girls of the world who love fashion, music, art, & make believe. LULA is gentle, whimsical and ethereal in tone, mixing high fashion to fall in love with and interviews that feel like late night chats with people you wish you knew.”
I’m so sorry my friend Jeff (above) never got to see this.
I got stalled in ‘09 on my large book all about the wonders of the partial capo. I plan to finish it in ‘10. For the 1st time in 25 years I don’t have a new recording project planned, and I may focus my energy this year on the web site, books and recordings related to the partial capo. It’s an idea I pioneered 30 years ago, and now thousands of people are using it, and I want to show them more useful things they could be doing. The partial capo is valuable for beginners, virtuosos, and everyone in-between.
Grave of a Guitar Legend You can’t see the whole picture from this photo, but it was a dark and rainy morning when my friend Cecil Abels took me to the hidden, lonesome and very simple grave of Mississippi John Hurt in Avalon, Miss. It was way out in the woods, down a long dirt road, several miles from a very small town. What does it mean to be a guitar legend? Is this what you get?
This man’s music means a lot to me, and thousands of guitarists, but he worked in a gravel pit for decades, and just played some guitar around his little home town. Didn’t get a decent gig until he was over 70 when he was “re-discovered” in 1963 because of some of his 1928 recordings. John got to play nice concerts for about 5 years until he died in 1967. Very hard to put my own artistic struggle beside his and compare our lives. I felt overwhelmed by various kinds of emotion. I came to honor him, and I hope I did. I was inspired and humbled in a number of ways.
Newsletter Essay: The Death of CD's
We hear almost daily that CD’s, newspapers, and now books are all doomed, and the big digital steamroller
is driving them all into the dust of the past. I’m not so sure this will happen; and if it does, that it will
be either good or necessary. Some people don’t feel the need for CD’s- particularly young people, but
does that mean they should take them away from all of us? I read books, I download them; I read magazines & internet
news, and have a music collection of vinyl, tape, CD’s and digitized music on iPod and hard drives. I use them
all at different times, and like a guy who eats whole wheat and white bread, I hope we can keep room on the shelves
for all of them. No format is a clear winner, and they all have advantages. I am getting extra worried about the
so called “Death of the CD,” in part because I sell CD’s for a living. Here’s why...
The Joyce Andersen Corner
|My wife Joyce Andersen awakened from the semi-slumber that her “mommy-hormones” put her
in, and in spite of having 2 young children, in ‘09 she started kicking musical butt again.
She did some solo concert and bar gigs, and as “Dixie Baxter” she played and played and sang some darn good country music with me and the Knotty Pine Boys. The Joyce Andersen Band almost started a few fires (by being so hot) and she also started playing and singing a lot of jazz, quite a bit with the Hot Club of Portland. She did a fair amount of Irish fiddling also, quite a number of recording sessions, and she has dug in her heels and started working on a very ambitious solo musical project. So keep an eye out for Joyce Andersen. She is an amazing musician, a nice person, great mom, a loving wife and daughter, a decent beekeeper and bookkeeper, and a lousy gardener.
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