My fifth song for February Album Writing Month is “The Kitchen Table,” a simple country waltz. Unlike every other song I’ve done for FAWM this year, it’s not really autobiographical at all. The basic idea came to me early yesterday morning, but I was too busy to work on it. I sat down to work on it today and finished it off in a few hours, and spent a little more time than usual recording it because both harmonica parts are overdubbed, and I also doubled the guitar part to make it sound a little richer.
The harmonica playing in the background through the song is a tremolo harmonica, which has two reeds for every note, tuned slightly apart for a tremolo sound. It sounds very much like an accordion, for good reason. Harmonicas and accordions are close cousins and most accordions work exactly the same way, only with as many as four reeds per note (and stops to control how many reeds sound). You blow air through a harmonica and select the notes by positioning your mouth and tongue, while you force air through an accordion with a bellows and select notes by pressing keys or buttons, but inside, the same basic things are happening to make the music.