After chatting to Joe Filisko, Elwood the Apprentice wonders if blues harmonica really needs a war of the clones
Those of you who’ve been paying attention will see that I recently posted a (rather overdue) Q&A with Chicago harmonica master Joe Filisko. In a very short conversation in a very noisy pub, which I’ll admit was not conducive to nuanced debate, he contended that harmonica should stay rooted in tradition: “One might argue,” he said, “that the harmonica sounds best played as it was played in the Fifties. And if it sounds best, then why not do it?”
Now, it ain’t easy arguing about harmonica with Joe Filisko. He’s nice about it, but one can hardly forget that a single horn-like blast from his Marine Band could reduce poor Elwood into nothing more than a pair of smoking Hush Puppies.
But I gotta say that Filisko’s traditionalism is just something I can’t quite swallow. (more…)