This live video is the first release from the show I played with Lowlands at Spazio Teatro 89 in Milan, Italy almost a year ago, on April 5 2014. Worth waiting for, methinks. The song is Ed Abbiatti’s “The Last Call,” one of my favorites among Ed’s repertoire.

I’m playing a Hohner CX12 chromatic in C–the piece is in D minor–through a Fireball mic into a Digitech RP360 running my “Ed Abbiatti Devil Sound,” which consists of a Matchless amp model paired with a pitch shifter that adds a parallel tone a perfect 4th down. (It’s one of the patches in my patch set for Digitech RP360. The original recording, made years ago, featured a similar setup on the Digitech RP355.) It’s a big, strong, eerie sound, and it fits the mood of the piece nicely. As always with a song that features a vocal, the words come first. My main goal on the harmonica was to add to the mood, and to illustrate the lyrics with appropriate lines and tones.

This piece is simple, weird, and beautiful, loaded with vib. Check out the dog whistle harmonics from the upright bass, the nearly whispered vocal, and the generally sombre tone throughout. It’s an easy piece to play on the chromatic harmonica, and it sounds great–my favorite kind of opening material. I was SO happy when I learned that this was the first piece of the night.

The full night’s performance by Ed Abbiatti and Lowlands will be released on DVD in the fall of 2015 under the title “Lowlands Unplugged.” Stay tuned for more info.