Harvey Reid

Fruit on the Vine

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AllMusic Review by

There are so many positive things that can be said about this amazing album, but probably the most important statement is that until one has listened to the album, one can only imagine the beauty -- the true essence and depth -- of the music. The prime factor making this compilation unique is the choice of instruments on hand. The six string banjo is virtually a lost instrument, but Harvey Reid masterfully breathes new life into it, opening our ears through his banjo exhibition on this album. The octave mandolin is also featured a number of times, but all too rarely. In the past, the autoharp has been employed on Bluegrass albums basically as a rhythm instrument, but seldom as a melodic one, as it is used throughout this album. Another important point is that Harvey Reid uses only one to two instruments at a time on the majority of the album, yet the songs still maintain a full, rich sound. All in all, Reid has an exciting presentation that carries a low overhead; fewer musicians means less money spent. But believe this: The listener suffers in no way from the lack in cost. A 50-piece orchestra would find it a difficult chore to attempt to fill Reid's shoes, certainly not an easy task to undertake. As foretold in the liner notes, many genres are examined through the 17 tracks, and all of them are songs that will long be treasured by music lovers seeking a grass-roots album by one of the true troubadours of this millennium.

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