As I work on the repertoire and arrangements for “The Lucky One,” my producer Ed Abbiatti and I are putting the songs into a meaningful order. For the last few days, I’ve been wondering whether that order includes solo acoustic harmonica pieces.
My first full-length CDs, “The Act of Being Free in One Act” and “The Second Act of Free Being,” were all about solo harmonica. Those records created an entirely new genre for the harmonica–solo compositions and arrangements that are uniquely aimed at the harmonica’s sound and capabilities–in which they remain the highest achievements to date, notable contributions by such as Filip Jers aside. (Don’t believe it? Go scout the competition and come back when you’re ready.)
Those records were well-conceived and executed, but in commercial terms they ran into a significant problem: the genre was so unique that there’s really no infrastructure (of media and performance venues) to support it. Anyone who hears the stuff can tell that it’s the real deal, but there aren’t a lot of places to go hear it. So that work is under-exposed.
I’m approaching the new record, “The Lucky One,” from the perspective of harmonica first and foremost. As I’ve said on this blog, there’s going to be a lot of electronica involved in the sounds I put down on this record. But why stop there? If it’s all about harmonica, why not start and end the record with–a harmonica? Bring it all full circle, back to the man and the instrument–the foundation for everything else on the record.
Anyway, that’s what I’m wondering about. If you’ve got an opinion as to whether you’d like a couple of pieces of pure solo harmonica mixed in with my big electric sounds, let me know.