Picking and singing

Butte Folk Music Society brings Northeast troubadour to Moxie’s

Harvey Reid with autoharp

Harvey Reid with autoharp

Preview: Harvey Reid Moxie’s Café/Gallery Sat., Jan. 24, 8pm

I spoke with Harvey Reid (www.woodpecker.com), renegade/ traditional singer and multi-instrumentalist from Maine (where they “don’t have tai-chi or chai tea"), on his cell phone the other day as he was leaving the LA basin, headed “up to the hills” to his next gig in Ojai.

Reid had the audacity (and talent) back in 1993 to tell an interviewer that he had “a lot more depth” than Bob Dylan and that he had “actually bothered to learn how to play the styles of guitar that go with the songs I’m playing.” When I questioned him about this, he said that his feelings toward Dylan these days are much friendlier, partly because Dylan, since that interview, took the time to listen to Reid’s work and learn one of his songs. But Reid did go on to remind me that “Dylan was a great, great traditional player, but he was so sloppy.”

Reid will bring with him to Moxie’s a six-string guitar ("the center of my world, really"), an autoharp (he actually makes this instrument of grade-school notoriety sound fabulous, captivating) and a slide guitar “for playing blues and stuff.” “I don’t have room for any more [instruments], because of Osama,” he jokes.

Expect to hear anything, from the Irish traditional tune "Si Bheag Si Mhor" to Woody Guthrie’s "Vigilante Man" to father of bluegrass Bill Monroe’s "My Louisiana Love" to Reid’s own "Cryin’ Shame," a wonderful little slide piece played in open E-flat tuning.