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Together, Joe Filisko and Eric Noden create the rhythmic old-time acoustic blues sounds of the past by combining the Delta’s most beloved instruments, the acoustic six string guitar and the harmonica. This modern day duo capture the blues and roots styles of the 20’s and 30’s through a rowdy, good time feeling, while staying true to the art form.
Joe and Eric have shared bills with Buddy Guy, Howard Levy, Billy Branch and Carlos De Junco. Joe was named “Harmonica Player of the Year 2001” by SPAH, The Society of the Preservation and Advancement of the Harmonica. These guys keep the blues alive giving back to the blues community by teaching their craft in workshops throughout the country.

So let’s go out on the porch, grab a cold drink, sit and watch the sun go down while listening to some good ol’ foot stomping blues!

BAY RUM BLUES: Written in 1933 by Gwen Foster. This is a story of the drinking crowd in Gastonia, NC gathering at the local dime store to purchase Bay Rum “cologne” during prohibition. It takes both Joe and Eric to replicate what Gwen was able to do with his guitar, racked harmonica and vocals.

CANNED HEAT BLUES: Written by Tommy Johnson and recorded in 1928. A story of drinking what we know today as “Sterno” during prohibition. Joe plays his harmonica with a small tin can for extra resonance.

WHOOPIN’ THE BLUES: Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee were one of the original blues duos. Sonny is probably the most influential rhythm harmonica player with his distinct percussive sounds while occasionally throwing in a few field hollers and whoops! Legend has it, Sonny played his harmonica upside down. Listening to Joe, you would swear Sonny was on the porch with you!

KINDHEARTED WOMAN: This was the first song Robert Johnson recorded in 1936.
Johnson played this with a driving thumb technique typical of Delta players. Eric follows the original song for most of the tune. Joe adds an amplified harmonica to the mix, even though the blues harp was not a part of Johnson’s repertoire.

TRUCKIN’ MY BLUES AWAY: Recorded in 1937 by John Lee “Sonny Boy” Williamson. Sonny used a tongue block technique to get his thick, full-bodied rhythms which dominated the Delta. Joe is one of the masters of this technique.

I HEARD THE ANGELS SINGING: made popular by Rev. Gary Davis in the late 1930’s. With his hard to replicate finger-picking and unique chord changes, the Reverend established himself as a guitar master. Joe adds a high pitch harmonica to contrast this gospel song.

MOUNTAIN DEW: Written by Bascom Lansford, but was made popular by North Carolina harmonica player, Walter “Red” Parham. This is a tale of whiskey stills in the Appalachian Mountains. Joe and Eric blend their rhythms in this feel good foot stomper….Do the Dew!

WRITE ME A FEW LINES: Written by Mississippi Fred McDowell and played with harmonica player Johnny Woods. In their interpretation, Eric’s slashing bottleneck slides and Joe’s big tone harp rhythms are hypnotic.

STOVEPIPE BLUES: Written by Daddy Stovepipe (Johnny Watson). All research concludes this song, first recorded in 1924, was the first country blues song with a harmonica ever recorded. Joe’s harmonica skills reflect Daddy’s unique style of playing blues in first position on the harp when traditionally blues is played in second position.

WALK ON: Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee. Brownie started recording as Blind Boy Fuller 2, after the famous Blind Boy Fuller passed in 1941. Brownie was a master of the blues shuffle and endless supply of guitar riffs.

JESUS ON THE MAINLINE: Traditional. On this gospel handed down through the generations, Joe brings his own harmonica style to this interpretation.

YOU MAY LEAVE BUT THIS WILL BRING YOU BACK: The Memphis Jug Band first recorded this in 1930. Band members Will Shade (harmonica), Charlie Burse (guitar), and Will Weldon (mandolin) always tried to create fun sounds using kazoos, washtub bass, washboards, and of course, the jug. Listen close and see how many of these you can hear.

CUT YOU LOOSE: Written by Rickey Allen & Mel London. A rip-roaring rockin’ rendition. Joe adds some amplified harp. What a perfect way to end the CD

Well this review is difficult for me to rate, as I personally feel it depends on your blues mood whenever you listen to this CD. If you are a fan of the Chicago amplified blues, you don’t get much of that here. However, knowing that every blues lover recognizes the importance of the Delta and its roots, you should get a great deal of satisfaction hearing these songs replicated as the originals. If you are a study of the harmonica, as I am, then this CD will be a 5 as you sit back and marvel at the techniques, tone, and efficiency of Joe’s Filisko’s mastery of this under appreciated instrument.

Therefore, on the STLBluesometer this will rank a 4.0

Keep on Harpin!
Jeff “Harpin Homer” Winders

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