The harmonica I'm using here is a Lee Oskar tuned in G harmonic minor. That is to say, it doesn't have the same collection of notes on it as a normal harmonica, which explains the odd gypsy feel of the melodies I'm playing.
Joel's guitar is obviously an addition to the normal arrangement -- we were quite excited about how much it added to the song, and felt it hints at some of the fun that a loose approach to recording affords us. The version here is his second take (on the first, he seemed determined to shoehorn the song into a major tonality, but his valiant efforts could not make it so). His bass, of course, is the heart of the song. The first time we ever played something like this I was trying to get him to play a pirate shanty, but he was in a more jazzy mood I guess.
Troy often claims that he is not a jazz drummer, but he gives this song a classiness it certainly would not otherwise possess. At least until the odd "reading...."
At shows, I normally insert band introductions during this song. That didn't seem appropriate during the recording session, but Joel had instructed me to say "something... anything" during the middle break, if only to read a beer label. The presence of beer labels likely sheds some light on the choice that I did make: the warranty card for our recording equipment that happened to be laying nearby. Pretty random, but because we're recording this stuff quite out-loud and live, the bleed-over in the drum mics meant that there was no hiding this odd vocal interlude without really slicing and dicing the take apart. It had a fun energy to it, so I rolled it in the mix. Bonus points to you if you figure out the secret of the second voice.
This track is featured on our 2012 album The Sound of Secret Names.