“I’m a big fan of cultural music, and that’s how I try to expand my playing, by listening to music that is not conventionally American. The sensibilities of musicians can be so different from one country to another.
“I love Celtic music, and one of the CDs I have is called Celtic Lullabies. There’s a song on it called Mullach A’tSi. It’s a traditional Celtic lullaby, and I always found it incredibly transporting. The melody in and of itself is beautiful, but the way the singer performs it is absolutely exquisite.
“I thought, I have to do that. I want to do that on the guitar. I have to capture those beautiful nuances. I knew how I could replicate it – and all at once, I had an entire vision for it on the guitar.
“The first time I recorded the track, I basically copied the arrangement from the CD. It was very simple, but I wasn’t feeling it. It didn’t have enough variety. So I re-harmonized the whole song but kept the melody. When I was thinking of putting the band together, I wanted to do something a little different. I saw this woman, Deborah Henson-Conant, playing harp, and I was pretty stunned. She’s considered the hip harpist.
“I asked her if she wanted to join my band, and she said yes. We just finished three weeks of rehearsals – I knew it was going to be good, but I didn’t know it would be this good. She plays on the track, and she’s unbelievable.”