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Reviews of "Guitar Voyages" by Harvey Reid

Bluegrass Now Magazine (Oct 2000) by Julie Koehler, Associate Editor

"My apologies for not having a better way to say this, but I LOVE YOUR NEW CD! (I'm a writer, after all; I'm supposed to have clever ways to say things, right?) I have been to Norway, and "The Norway Suite" brought all of those incredible views back to mind--the waterfalls, the fjords, the steep hillsides and the tiny little villages. You are indeed plugged into something amazing.

Here is the review...

For my money, Harvey Reid produces some of the best, most exquisite and listenable guitar music on the planet. Since it's impossible to categorize this master musician, suffice to say that his music encompasses a wide spectrum of styles including bluegrass, folk, old-time, blues, Celtic and classical. While not a bluegrass album by any stretch, Guitar Voyages is his fourteenth solo album, picking up where 1989's Solo Guitar Sketchbook left off. It's all guitar (slide, 6- and 12-string), all instrumental, all fabulous. Reid has recorded this album with 24-bit high-resolution digital equipment, giving the entire album a clarity and pristine cleanness that are simply extraordinary. Notes sparkle and shimmer, hang momentarily in the air, then fade, making way for the next shimmering measure or phrase.

While the four traditional cuts ("Life is Like a Mountain Railroad," "Uncloudy Day," "Skye Boat Song" and the absolutely mesmerizing "Miss the Mississippi") will be familiar to bluegrass listeners, their arrangements will be new. The remaining eleven Reid originals will introduce them to pieces that are much broader and deeper in mood and emotion. There are two 3-part suites ("Norway Suite," "Scotland Suite"), 11 and 16 minutes, respectively, that conjure images of these unbelievably beautiful countries. There's "Racing the Storm" as it conveys a sense of hurry-up urgency. And then there's the lively and bluesy "Flüf's Vacation" (Flüf being a cat) ... cats do what they want, when they want, creating their own fun and happiness. Don't look for hard-driving banjos on this album. Instead, expect to be musically caressed, transported to another wavelength, or simply awed by the clarity of the recording. Above all, expect to enjoy. (JK)"

Guitar Player Magazine (Oct 2000 )

"For years, Harvey Reid has been releasing self-produced gems­audiophile recordings of 6- and 12-string guitar, autoharp, Dobro, and banjo­and thrilling folk-music fans around the world with his stunning musicianship and vast repertoire. Guitar Voyages provides an excellent introduction to Reid's soulful, yet carefully rendered work. He cut this CD live, using only stereo mics and minimal signal processing. It's inspiring: Reid's animated, present timbres remind us of our instrument's stark sonic beauty and why we started playing in the first place. Using a variety of guitars, including Taylor and Larrivée grand concerts, jumbo Taylor 12-strings, and round-neck Dobros, Reid draws us into his world of vibrating strings and resonating wood. We're treated to a parade of Scottish jigs, bouncy fiddle tunes, tinkling baroque dance themes, pensive ballads, and melancholy slide work­ over an hour's worth of original and traditional instrumentals performed with passion and grace. Reid brings more than refined chops to the table; he has spent his life studying and performing traditional music, and if you listen carefully, you'll hear stories of his travels in every tune he plays. "

Various E-Mail Reviews from Fans, Friends, and Media

"This has quickly become my favorite Harvey Reid recording...I love guitar recordings you know. This work is emotive, tasteful, and technically wizard like...& I like it...enough said? With all the fluff new releases coming in these days I cherish the good stuff even more. I dare say it is getting good airplay on my shows ." (Scott MacKinnnon -WSMU Radio North Dartmouth, MA )

"Your new CD is utterly magnificent. Just stunningly beautiful. You just keep getting better and better, if that is possible. The Suites are both superb, don't make me choose a favourite! Racing the Storm is a love-at-first-hearing masterpiece. Uncloudy Day is ungodly gorgeous. Pegasus is magnificent. All the songs have your extraordinary touch of incomprehensible talent. Even though I see you perform, I still cannot fathom how anyone can conceive of and make such complicated, exquisite sounds. I never will understand how you can play like you do. I thank the Muses and the Fates for letting us cross paths and enabling me to enjoy your music." (Catherine Fahlgren, Fan)
"You have hit the ball out of the park with this one. The skill of the playing is what most people will notice at first, I suspect, and the playing is indeed wonderful, but I think in the long run it will become clear to knowledgeble folk that it's the sophistication of the composition that is truly staggering. You have asssimulated the work of your teachers well,and by your teachers I refer to Bach, Merle, Turlan, Blind Arthur, Doc, Stephen Foster.... I think the CD succeeds in being exactly what you intended it to be: a distillation and a synthesis of all those influences - one that is true to them, but not a slavish imitation of them. It echoes your earlier work, surely. I hear bits and pieces of things I've heard you play before. But I think it draws a line under a whole body of work. It's a worthy summation. I'm sure it will be another decade at least before you will do another instrumental guitar project. It will take at least that long to find new things to say and new ways to say them. You have set the bar very high for yourself, and for your fellows. I suspect many of them will go on leaping into the pit, and will emerge with arms raised in triumph, not even noticing that the reason the bar remains on the standards is that they went under it, not over it." (Jeff Hickey, Musician)
"Your music is absolutely beautiful. I makes me feel so good and lets my mind flow. I'm all the way to track 10 and it just keeps getting better and better. It's like all of your songs feed each other and grow and grow together until they're like a giant beanstalk leading ever upward to some special place far away in the sky. Guitar Voyages is a great name for what you've created. On the way to work I was "Riding with the King" with Eric Clapton and BB King. Now I'm floating away with Harvey Reid. It really is quite inspiring. I think I'm going to write some very good things listening to your music. You get an A-plus for soul and sincerity. Not to mention musicality, sensitivity, composition, creativity, sound quality, and spiritual upliftability. Music is such a wonderful thing when done right. You did it right." (Kevin Kinnear, Magazine Editor)
"Wonderful! Awesome! The new album by Harvey Reid is the best solo acoustic CD you will ever hear! The clarity and brilliance of sound is unsurpassed. Technique and creativity to feed the greatest of imaginations. It reaches heart and soul and guides you on a voyage through shiftless ages of time and distant lands. Sheer pleasure to the most critical ears!" (Kathy Harris, Fan)
"Next time we meet, your first four beers are on me. This CD is a beautiful piece of work. The sound quality is astounding! Your guitars sound so present, so rich, crisp, fat, resonant, alive. Amazing. You keep crankin' these things out, I'm so impressed. There are so many good things here. Miss The Missippi and the Skye Boat Song are great trad choices and treatments, and your compositions are hypnotic, playful, elegant by turns. I'm sure this will win you new fans and further cement your great reputation." (Geoff Bartley, musician)