The first Liberty Guitar CD is Available on iTunes
Harvey has been working for 2 years on a guitar education project he calls "Liberty Guitar." To launch it and to showcase the musical power of a new guitar environment he has discovered, he has released 2 new recordings. The Liberty Guitar Album features 14 solo guitar instrumentals, played only with the middle 2 fingers of the left hand! He is using what he called Liberty Tuning, which you can reach from any guitar in as little as 5 seconds... It's quite amazing.
Another monumental project, this one is a complete library of guitar chords in standard tuning, optimized for solo acoustic, troubadour-style guitarists instead of being for jazz playerrs like other encyclopedic books. It's best, most complete and readable standard-tuning chord encyclopedia, and an essential new reference tool. The Troubadour Guitar Chord Book features over 2900 open and closed-string voicings, optimized and selected for solo acoustic and troubadour-style guitarists.
Harvey was the first guitarist to compose, publish and record partial capo guitar music, and probably knows more about this corner of the guitar world than anyone. He has released over 150 recorded tracks in the last 30 years, using over 2 dozen different partial capo configurations, and now that this idea is gaining a lot of world-wide momentum, he is devoting a lot of energy to organizing the knowledge in his head, getting it down on paper, and disseminating it to the world. He is trying to record and arrange new music, make over 1000 pages of highly technical books, and to build a web site that is a clearinghouse for partial capos.
Now the first 5 books are done, and the last 2 are almost ready to publish, including the "Big Book" which will be over 550 pages that show how to use over 170 partial capo configurations.
At www.partialcapo.com he is explaining and selling "all things partial capo," and guitarists everywhere can now find a knowledgeable, unbiased source of good information to help them find out about partial capos, and to figure out how they might use them in their music. The online store there has almost 20 kinds of partial capos, an organized web store with capos, books & recordings, and there is a lot of content there now with explanation, history, tips & tricks, and ideas for beginners, songwriters, teachers and hot pickers.
While researching the Capo Voodoo project, Harvey made an important discovery, that he calls "Liberty Tuning." It's an easy and ground-breaking way to create a new environment in the guitar that makes it much easier than ever before to play good-sounding music on guitar. He is working on a whole new series of books and recordings that will show adult beginners, very young children (this photo is a 4-year-old having a very good time strumming chords and singing...) and people with hand injuries how they can play an astonshing amount of great music with just 2 fingers of the left hand. There is a "teaser" web site up at www.LibertyGuitar.com that explains some of what it's about. It's going to be a few months until the books, recordings, web site, and a new partial capo are ready.
It's been 10 years since Harvey's first autoharp CD, and the "sequel" was released in the summer of 2013, from this web site, iTunes, CD Baby and other digital download serrvices. It's called "The Autoharp Waltz" and it is a new masterpiece of solo autoharp from one of the best players. 4 songs, 12 instrumentals, featuring many new compositions and new arrangements of great old songs.
Now on iTunes and on a CD! (and many other digital download servies) FINALLY! The best of Harvey's ground-breaking partial capo guitar work collected in one place... Remastered and assembled from older LP's and CD's, these are the most important of Harvey's 125 recorded tracks that use this clever new tool for guitar players.
Capo Voodoo: Solo Guitar has 18 tracks that span 30 years and feature 11 different acoustic guitars. Mostly fingerstyle, there are also 2 flatpicked pieces, some slide and 12-string work, with Reid's compositions, traditional airs and fiddle tunes, blues, celtic and even classical arrangements. Some taken from his in-print CD's, but some are re-recordings and unreleased tracks.
Capo Voodoo: Songs has 76 mins of solo guitar songs. 15 tracks span 25 years and feature 9 different partial capo configurations, some of which are common and some are unique to Harvey. Fingerstyle and strummed, these are the best examples of Reid's compositions, traditional ballads, blues, bluegrass, celtic and folk-rock songs.
More and more of Harvey Reid's large number of albums (his complete catalog is nearly 500 tracks, and some important albums are still not up..) are now available on a number of online digital download services (including Amazon, eMusic, Rhapsody, CD Baby, Spotify, Napster, MySpace, Liquid Digital, Verizon, Shockhound, Nokia, LastFM, Zune, MediaNet, Tradebit, GreatIndie, Limewire, and ThumbPlay...) but much of his best recorded work has not been available online. In March 2010 two new download-only solo guitar albums went into the system to help fill this void. The Solo Guitar Project: Vol. 1 (LISTEN / BUY ONLINE) and The Solo Guitar Project: Vol 2 (LISTEN / BUY ONLINE) each contains 12 instrumental tracks collected from previous recordings. These feature his inimitable 6-string, 12-string and slide guitar compositions and his arrangements of traditional melodies for solo guitar. The cuts, recorded between 1986 and 2000, have been remixed and remastered, and sound stellar. For a list of songs on these albums and the liner notes, click here. It is not yet clear if these will be pressed and sold as CD's. We welcome your feedback. Read more about it.
Now done are two more compilations (one of instrumentals and the other songs) showcasing Reid's ground-breaking partial capo guitar work. Capo Voodoo: Solo Guitar has 18 more partial capo tracks, collected from 9 earier recordings (plus 3 unrelesed cuts.) It will be pressed as a CD, available Nov 15, 2010, and go up shortly afterward for digital downoad. A CD of partial capo songs will be early in 2011.
Reid's 6-string banjo CD has been remastered and put up for digital downoad, as has his epic "Circles" CD from 1992.
Harvey stayed home instead of touring, and released his 21st recording in the Spring of 2009. After 3 collaborations in a row with Joyce Andersen, this is his 1st solo project since the Autoharp Album in 2003, and the first to feature his guitar since 2000. Titled Blues & Branches, its 16 tracks showcase Reid's slide guitar and bluesier side of his music, with 7 originals, 7 arrangements of traditional tunes, and 2 covers. It was feayured in a 3-page interview & story in the Feb issue of Guitar Player Magazine.
Totally solo except for 2 cameos by Joyce Andersen on vocal and fiddle, it includes 2 autoharp songs, one on the 6-string banjo, and features Reid on 11 different guitars, including metal-body resonator, 12-string, Chrysalis, lap steel and dobro guitars. Mostly songs, with 3 instrumentals, "Blues & Branches" is a mature work, featuring one of America's strongest and most versatile acoustic musicians at the peak of his powers of performing, composing and arranging. It features some of Reid's strongest lyrics to date, some of his best vocals, and a fresh pile of new work from a very productive and versatile musician. As always, this recording is sparse, recorded live in the studio, and over 70 mins. of acoustic purity.
Harvey is finally on YouTube and a growing number of his albums of songs are nowfor sale on iTunes (and lots of other legal download services) beginning in October 2008. The list of Reid's YouTube videos appears here.
There are now a number of live and studio videos of Harvey like this one of him playing "Star Island Jig in a video he recorded in 1999 to help people who wanted to learn this piece, which is in his "Capo Inventions" book and on two CD's. (It seems to work better if you watch the one on the YouTube site (click the link in the previous sentence.) rather than this embedded movie. There should be more videos coming soon.
In a friend's living room in Los Angeles, quite by accident, Harvey discovered that there is a tune called "Waltz of the Waves" at Track 11 of a CD titled "Musical Tour of Scotland" by a former folk musician now comedian and movie star named Billy Connolly. It is played on autoharp in the key of F, and is very clearly the tune Harvey wrote in 1988, which is also an autoharp instrumental in F. It is credited on the CD as "Traditional." Billy is a very big deal, is a famous comedian and actor (he was in the movie "Mrs. Brown" and "Head of the Class" TV show, an HBO special with Whoopi Goldberg, and even had a brief TV show of his own called "Billy.")
Not only is this a major label CD that has sold a lot of copies, but it was also a TV show on BBC, and a website found under Billy's video company (at http://www.sarsen.demon.co.uk/billy/videos.html) called "Sleepy Dumpling" brags that 400,000 copies of this video have been sold!
The show had
been run in Australia and New Zealand also, and that Polygram released the CD
in at least 2 countries. Actually the CD is the soundtrack from a 6-part TV show
called Billy Connolly's World Tour of Scotland, that won all kinds of awards,
and was a hugely successful show. Harvey's song was the only one Billy was actually
pictured playing in the whole 6 hours of the show!
Harvey is honored that Billy liked his tune, and that he plays autoharp! Billy is reputedly the most popular comedian ever to come out of the UK, and you know how long Harvey has hoped for someone famous and cool to popularize the autoharp...
Well, at first things look really good. Harvey contacted Billy, and Billy called personally to apologize for the mistake, and to assure Harvey that things would be set right and that he would be paid his proper royalties. (Click here to download an MP3 audio file of Billy's phone message to Harvey)
Here is a transcript of what Billy said: (in case you can't understand the phone message quality and the Scottish accent or don't have the time to download the file.)
"Hello Harvey, this is Billy Connolly. I got your letter and the T shirt and all the goodies, and thank you very much. I'd like to apologize from the bottom of my heart. The fault entirely rests with me. I had forgotten your name when we were putting it down, and I promised them I would get it and I totally forgot. I'm really sorry, and everything has been put absolutely right... so you can expect a nice wee windfall. Thanks again for the... I'll try and phone again and get you because I'd like to get you personally. Buddy, thanks for the humane way you've treated me, and I'll be in touch. Bye, man." (12:46 PM Wednesday May 27 1998.)
This is a vastly complicated process involving wrtiter and publishing royalties for radio and TV airplay and sales of CD's, tapes and videos in at least 3 countries. So far only radio and TV airplay money has been paid, by the organizations that do that, who have been satisfied that the tune does indeed belong to Harvey and have paid him for airplay royalties. Thus far no payment has come from Billy or his record company. Billy's people have replied occasionally to Harvey's letters and faxes, but offered no accounting or payments. The smallest record company in the world is not really in a great position to take on the largest one in the world in an international royalty battle, but something needs to be done to right this wrong.
Harvey is now preparing a press campaign to publicize this problem and to see if he can get someone to open their checkbook and pay him what is he is due. This story is an interesting example of how hard it is for a little guy to get paid by the big guy who uses his copyrighted creations.
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