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Preview Thu Feb 14 2013
There are so many ways to describe Chicago using the "descriptor + town" formula, that it's almost a pointless cliche to even try. Chicago is a blues town, it's a jazz town, it's a comedy town, it's an anything town. We get it. But get specific enough, and things start to get a little more interesting. Did it occur to anyone, for example, that Chicago is also a thriving harmonica town?
Well, it is, and there's a concert this Sunday at The Hideout to help you understand why.
Filisko, Conway, and Kessler have each won significant respect in the harmonica world as virtuosic players, historians, and instructors. Filisko, for example, is largely credited with compiling some of the first authoritative guidelines on harmonica playing and technique--something that had never existed previously, despite the instrument's long history in American music. Conway, on the other hand is an active local musician known for playing in the Celtic power trio The Boils, in addition to teaching courses at The Old Town School of Folk Music and other places. Kessler is a versatile harmonica player trained by jazz musicians and capable of playing much more himself.
The harmonica is such a simple, tiny instrument, but it fits well into a variety of genres--and hearing it played well has the potential to induce unexpected "that's-a-harmonica!?" types of reactions. Watch Conway perform a cover of Neil Young's "For the Turnstiles" below, for an example: