Very young kids, pros looking for fresh voicings, and guitarists who’ve sustained fretting-hand injuries will all find something powerful here to explore.


Harvey Reid
The Liberty Guitar Album
Woodpecker Records

Until you know the backstory, Harvey Reid's new collection of solo guitar instrumentals sounds like the superb discs he has been releasing for 35 years. Featuring moving lines, bluesy riffs, and rich, colorful chords, the tunes are melodic, expertly arranged, and fingerpicked with soul and skill—classic Reid.

But he performed the 14 pieces, which include both traditional music and such modern classics as “All I Have to Do Is Dream” and “Moon Shadow,” with only two fretting fingers—his 2nd and 3rd. Reid undertook this exercise in digital restraint to illustrate the power of a new tuning he stumbled across while working with a partial capo.

He calls it Liberty Tuning, and it requires only one subtle change from standard tuning plus a strategically placed partial capo. Reid says you can put a guitar into Liberty Tuning in about five seconds—no restringing required. Very young kids, pros looking for fresh voicings, and guitarists who’ve sustained fretting-hand injuries will all find something powerful here to explore. You can learn about Reid’s Liberty instructional books and song collections at Meanwhile check out this track and marvel: Yes, that’s just two fretting fingers and no overdubs.

Must-hear track: “Fields of Gold”

Plus, the Fontaines D.C. axeman explains why he’s reticent to fix the microphonic pickup in his ’66 Fender Coronado.

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