Joe's life has been all about harmonica excellence! He started befriending numerous great players in 1990 with his custom harmonica business and started teaching at a high professional level at Chicago's renowned Old Town School of Folk Music in 1992. He has since brought his knowledge and abilities to 5 different continents with countless sold-out workshops.
With the extensive background of having transcribed hundreds of songs by the greatest blues harp players that ever lived, Joe saw the need to create repertoire for the intermediate player. That is exactly what this website is dedicated to. These study songs are not intended to sound like "new" repertoire, but instead sound like traditional classic blues songs and licks that every player claiming to play "blues" should be familiar with. Through these songs, Joe will put you on the path to sounding like the great masters.
Joe's teaching method appeals to both visual and auditory type learners. The CD has the song played in different tempos and is broken down, chorus by chorus. The notation is just as detailed. Both used together makes for the most powerful teaching tool possible after having a teacher sit with you in real time.
What is meant by "traditional" is certainly a tried and true, time-tested vocabulary of licks, but also getting a "sound" out of the harmonica. Frequently referred to as "tone," getting a "sound" or having "tone" usually means making the tiny harmonica sound BIG by playing to the instruments inherent strengths. If this is important to you, you are in the right place.
Joe is a firm believer in the power and advantages of the tongue block (T-block) embouchure. If the T-block is new to you, you should start from the level II songs. If you do already incorporate some T-blocking but want to make it stronger, this is the place for you.
Please do thoroughly read through the LEARNING GUIDES, found on the STORE. Most questions you will have will likely have the answers found there.