Joe launched 2010 with a new teaching technique! Rather than teach from a transcription this week, he taught the Mannish Boy lick and had the whole class playing along. This showed the importance of accompaniment playing and repetition. You need to know classic phrases and licks like this one.
Joe also used this opportunity to talk about how to solo in the spaces between the repeating lick on a song like this, repeating phrases with slight variations and sticking to the blues scale. Great class!
Joe will also be dedicating Level IV class time occasionally to a discussion of songs we bring in. If you have a tune you have always wondered about and would like to discuss it in class, put it on a CD and have it with you.
The 13th Old Town School harmonica recital was a huge success in December and now you can relive it with a copy of the highlights CD. Make a donation to the class fund and pick up your copy from Joe now!
Also, thanks to Highway RickEy for the CD cover art and arranging for photography at the event. You can view all the images here. Thanks to photographers Highway RickEy, Michelle Filisko and Grant Kessler.
The Next Great Ensemble Performance -- Juke!!!
Shoji Naito, ensemble writer extraordinaire, has produced another fabulous group piece for us to perform at the Harmonica Convergence show March 21, 2010, and this time it's Little Walter's "Juke"! Everyone is welcome and encouraged to participate. This will be a fabulous opportunity for us to perform on the main stage at the Old Town School, sharing the bill with professional harp players Corky Siegel, Peter "Madcat" Ruth, Joe Filisko and Howard Levy.
Shoji has posted the parts and the song here: Juke.
Rehearsal will begin next week at 8pm. Note that most of you already know the rhythm part because it is the same as the rhythmic chording Shoji taught us over the summer. A few people will be needed on the bass part, but most people should play the melody. Study, practice and be ready to participate next week.
Other ensemble notes:
- "Practice" at home; rehearse with the group in class.
- Spend most of your practice this week on page one.
- Shoji will not be providing printouts in class. Make your own printouts from the web page and remember to bring them to class.
We hope to also be playing Welcome Table at this event, so refresh your memory on that song too. Welcome Table link.
Our thoughts are with our B1 friend Grant Dermody whose wife Eileen passed away recently. Our sincerest wishes to you Grant!
Grant is a terrific Seattle-based harp player who is just now releasing his second CD, "Lay Down My Burden", which is a mix of blues and gospel tunes. Joe plays on both of Grant's discs. You can also find Grant recording and touring with Eric Bibb.
What the Pros Are Up To!
- Howard Levy Harmonica School announced! Now you can learn online from master harmonica player Howard Levy. Full details here.
- David Barrett's blues instruction site is now live: bluesharmonica.com.
- B1 friend Buddy Greene is releasing a new cd, "A Few More Years". This is a collection of gospel songs and is available here.
- RJ Mischo has a new disc out also: "Knowledge You Can't Get In College". No sign of him touring near Chicago -- come back to see us, RJ!
- Get your CDs at the newly redesigned bluebeatmusic.com. Congrats, Charlie!
- Rumor has it concerto virtuoso Robert Bonfiglio will be appearing in Rockford within the next two weeks. YouMissedMonday is working to get concert information for this show and will run it on the ymm website when we have it. Stay tuned!
- Joe Filisko solo! Joe is playing a solo gig at the Harlem Avenue Lounge on January 19, 2010. This is a rare opportunity to see Joe solo...although he may have special guests sitting in, so don't miss this one!
- Reminder: Joe can do a better job critiquing what you play if you hand him your transcription beforehand. This is a great way to get better comments on your technique.
- Get your tickets now for the next Harmonica Convergence show featuring Joe Filisko, Howard Levy, Corky Siegel and Peter Madcat Ruth at the Old Town School, March 21, 2010. The show will be a tribute to the great harmonica legend, and longtime Steve Miller Band member, Norton Buffalo. Rumor has it there may be other harp players you know in the lineup, so don't miss it!
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- Grant Kessler, B1 Blues Crew