Exclusive Interview with Joe Filisko

Joe Filisko How did you discover the bluesharp ?
~ I first discovered it as a young boy but couldn't make any sense out of it. Rediscovered in high school trying to imitate harp heard in blues rock songs. Still couldn't make any sense out of it. Finally figured out some of the magic behind it while listening to blues in college. I really remember being mesmerized after hearing Sonny Terry in the opening of the movie "Crossroads". Still haven't put it down!

If everything would be possible (waking the dead included) , which bluesharp player would you invite for a jam session?
~ I would have to say that it would likely be Jaybird Coleman followed by George "Bullet" Williams due to the minimum amount that they recorded. My favorite diatonic player is Walter Horton but there is a fair amount of video available on him.

What is your favorite bluesharp brand / type and tell us why?
~ Any flavors of the Hohner Marine Band.

What are the most important tips you can give to someone who wants to learn to play the bluesharp?
~ Stay relaxed and breathe through the harp and practice in front of a mirror. Carefully check the 18 Insights listed at www.FiliskoStore.com They are the results of 25+ years of playing and teaching.

Whisky wine beer or ...?
~ Coffee and black English Tea!

How do you clean your harps?
~ Generally tap out the loose moisture aggressively after playing and wipe clean with the INSIDE of my shirt.

What is the question interviewers never seem to ask you and...you wish they would? (Please provide your answer as well.)
~ SORRY! Can't think of any.

Describe the ultimate recording studio (not the technique but the facilities)
~ I have been VERY happy with the Blaise Barton's Joyride Studio in Chicago IL. I've lost count of how many sessions I've done there with him and have recorded 4 records there with my name of them. Gotta have ribbon mics for recording harmonica.

Are you still nervous before going on stage and if so, do you use any "rituals" to calm you nerves.
~ Rarely ever but sometimes. Can never really tell when it may hit you. I generally try to NEVER have the attitude that I am trying to prove anything so I can just be myself and how I feel on that particular day.

What was the most memorable day in your musical career and tell us why.
~ Possibly playing at the Country Music Hall of Fame Medallion ceremony for the induction of DeFord Bailey. Many of the worlds music elite where in the audience just a few feet away.

Joe Filisko

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Answers given on December 31, 2015