Lately, I’ve switched back to mostly using Filisko single reed- plate harps. His instruments keep getting better and better, and I find that I’m able to get a big sound without blowing as hard, and also able to get all of notes more accurately and without straining.

I will use the double reed- plate harps occasionally, but mostly it’s the singles since this summer. I played my concerto using singles.

Also, I have been using a variety of mics in the last 6 months- a hand held Shure Beta 58 (at the Flecktones’ Ravinia show last Sept, among other places), a Shure KSM 32 in the studio several times – rich, punchy condenser mic. I even used a Shure 57 with a wind screen last week, sometimes hand held, sometimes on the stand. It was there and it sounded good in the PA.

I also use an HHB Radius 40 tube mic- pre/compressor/eq for home recording. I’ve played through it live a few times. Units like that have the kind of circuitry that was standard before transistors and digital came in, and they are in demand because they give a richer, more natural sound to anything you put through them. Many studios have this unit.

Harmonica: Hohner Marine Bands Customized by Joe Filisko
Double reedplates for lower keys
Special 20 covers or custom brass
Joe Filisko Brass harmonicas
Microphone: Sennheiser MD 441 U (Live Studio)
RCA 44 or Junior Velocity (Vintage Ribbon Mic) (Studio)
Green Bullet through a tube amp or Hughes and Kettner Blues Master tube distortion unit

Alone and Together…

Harmonica Mics- mostly Sennhesier 441, a handheld Beyer Dynamic TG 88 on “Taking a Chance on Love” and “There is No Greater Love”, and an EV RE 10 through a Fender Blues Junior amp miked with a Cascade Fathead mic on Blues Dirge and Shuffle and Birdhead’s Blues.

Aguas Quietas C
Taking a Chance on Love A
Ruminations C
Dirge Ab
Shuffle Ab
One for Dmitri
The Nearness of You C
Funkyharps Bb, C, G, Low G,
Birdhead’s Blues Ab
Ornette in the A.M. G
Every Time We Say Goodbye Ab
Prelude to a Kiss
There is No Greater Love A and C

Chevere- Secret Dream
Maria Christina– D harp
The Beauty Around Us– Ab harp
Ou Bula Ou Bulica– C harp

Spanish Serenade– G harp
Cottonpatch Rag– F harp
My One and Only Love– G harp

Howard Levy & Paul Sprawl
Good Morning Sunshine – G and Low D
A Touch of Evil – C harp
Good Times – Low F
Red Room – Ab
Edward’s Story – Bb and A
The Camel Parade – melody on Ab harp, solo on A harp
Security – C harp
Baywood Day and Night – Ab
From Pismo to Evanston – A harp
Breakfast in Beaumont – G harp

The Old Country
The Nutbuster– G harp
Kucano Horo– Bb harp
Lamentation– Bb harp
Difficult Crossing– A harp
Jovano Jovanke– G harp
The Origin of Insects– Low F# harp
Still Light, but Turning Dark Blue– Bb harp
Dancing on the Moon– G harp

Molinaro/Levy Live
All Blues– C harp
19/8– Db harp
Prelude #2– Low F# harp
Summertime– G harp
Amazonas– C Harp
Mood Indigo– Low Eb harp
Solar– Bb harp
Indiana/Donna Lee– Ab harp
Sketchy– Bb harp
Amazing Grace– Low Eb
America the Beautiful– Bb

The Stranger’s Hand
Brick Chicken – Lo and High F, C,
Sufferin’ Catfish – C,E,D,
4/4 and More – G
Elvin – Ab
Calienté – C
Going Up! – A
The Stranger’s Hand – Eb 4:25 in

Carnival of Souls
Yellow Cello Eb, and F at 1:37, a little C to close out.
Stephanie’s Dance Bb, G at 2:04 for the fast triplet passage, back to Bb.
Maracaibo C harp, A harp :32 to :52.Then G. 2:35- C harp. The little fills over the cello and the rest of the tune up to the last licks are on G, then the last few seconds are on C. All harp is overdubbed.
Rosanna’s Turquoise – A harp.
Spring Winds – The harp/piano passages were played together with a G harp.
Samba Trace – G harp, then C harp for the short solo and the end.
Carmona – G harp.
Citric Motion – A harp, and G harp/piano together for solo at end.
East Liberty – C harp, High F# harp for solo and back to C for melody. Then Db for the melody in Ab at the end, and then the LAST NOTE on an F, or a Bb? And I admit it! An overdub extravaganza.
Street Corner – D harp.
Carnival of Souls – A harp

Trio Globo
Lumbriga G Darkness – G G Chant- G and C at end after 4:50.
Listen to the Night – This was a free improv that we overdubbed on. I switched harps several times to match exact inflections of the cello melodies. Bb, switches at 1:00 to Ab. Next at 2:40, C harp that was played live. Then Bb. Then C at end.
Nandi’s Wish – A harp. This is a melody of Glen’s based on notes found in the upper regions of the natural overtone series, that he sings using overtone singing techniques. We play it several octaves lower.
Living on Breath – A spontaneous compostion- I played piano and G harp simultaneously.
Rising – The solo is on A harp, and the other lines are on both A and G harps.
Golden Seal – Ab harp
Coda – C harp

West County – Bb harp
Sex in a Pan – A harp
Nemo’s Dream – G harp
Bonnie and Clyde – G harp
Magic Fingers – D harp
Life without Elvis – Bb harp
Seresta – G harp
The Yee Haw Factor – G harp
After the Storm – G harp

Flight of the Cosmic Hippo
Flying Saucer Dudes D harp, solo on C harp, outhead on D harpTurtle Rock G harp
Hippo – C harp in a cup
Star Spangled Banner – start with Bb, 1:22 switch to C harp, 1:44, back to Bb for 2 notes.
Star of The County Down – C harp, except for the two notes in the melody at :37 that I had to play on the G, because the A was too low for the C. Again at 2:53.
Jekyll and Hyde – Low F
Michelle – G harp
Reprise – C harp

Bela Fleck and the Flecktones
On this album, I used a Neumann U67 (unless it was an 87), and for the distortion stuff, a Shure Green Bullet through a little Fender amp of some sort. I also stood next to the Neumann when I played that, so it wasn’t a totally distorted sound.
Sea Brazil G – the 2nd brief solo is on G harp and piano played simultaneously
Frontiers C harp, Bb harp for a few notes, then Bb harp stays in, C harp out, except for one note around 5:10, so I could avoid 6 ob on a C harp, and the last notes on a Bb.
Half Moon Bay Head on a B harp, solo on a Low F#.
The Sinister Minister C harp
Mars Needs Women pt. 1- G harp, switch to C harp at 1:44 pt. 2- C harp
Reflections of Lucy Db harp, then at 2:12 Eb.Back to Db
Tell it to the Governor C harp