Learn a Cajun Harmonica Song “The Criminal Waltz” with Joe Filisko

By Hal Walker

Written by Hal Walker on . Posted in Blog: Harmonica Articles, Hal Walker, Harmonica Lessons, SPAH Interviews and Lessons

Go get your key of C harmonica and get ready to learn a fun Cajun style tune, “The Criminal Waltz”, with me and Joe Filisko (song lesson begins 4m 22s in):

Well, it’s been almost a year since the 2012 SPAH convention. Hundreds of harmonica players from around the world are getting excited about the 2013 50th anniversary convention. Unfortunately, I won’t be there. It’s been a rough year for me, but I’m working hard at turning it around. Thank you for all your support in helping me do that.

I was glad to finally dust off my video-editing skills so I could work on this Joe Filisko interview from last summer. We are coming to the end of the 16 lessons/interviews that I recorded, and I feel really happy about the way they turned out. It was really a fun project… But it’s not done quite yet.

In about 1992, JP Allen and I moved into an apartment together in Kent, Ohio. We turned one room into a music recording studio and another room into a wheatgrass-growing studio. We were both in our mid-20s and we both had a passion for the harmonica. We started hanging around with this great blues guitar player from this area, named Eric Noden. I’ll never forget hanging out at 501 West Main St. playing the blues with my friends Eric and JP.

Eventually, Eric moved to Chicago to play the blues. There, he hooked up with one of the greatest harmonica players, harmonica teachers, and harmonica historians that you will ever know – Joe Filisko. The two of them are now traveling the world, spreading the good music of the blues. It was my treat to pull Joe aside from our closing banquet at the convention and spend a few minutes getting a lesson on playing Cajun harmonica.

Above, I offer you that lesson. Have fun, and hopefully it won’t be another six months before I edit the final interview of the series. 🙂

P.S. Check out Joe’s bio here

Hal Walker

Hal is a singer, songwriter and musical explorer. Hal Walker, the educator, enjoys ongoing collaborations with Ohio arts organizations. Hal has also released 3 albums of his songs and one CD of instrumental music. Hal Walker, the multi-instrumentalist, composes and improvises on the guitar, piano, harmonica, the khaen, jew’s harp and concertina. In collaboration, he has developed a modern version of a traditional African instrument called a “Banakula.” New! Hal Walker harmonica lessons for beginners, click: Music That Fits in Your Pocket

Comments (5)

  • tim james


    thanks again jp ,please come to Australia so ya can be our prime minister!!!


    • JP Allen


      Everyone would receive a free government issued harmonica! LOL jp


    • Max


      Hi Tim, do you feel lonely being a harpist in Australia?


  • Keith Mitchell


    I think your videos are one of the most useful things to come out of the SPAH conf last year. Appreciate the time to capture and process. Sad we will not see you in St Louis. Keep up the recovery in all of its aspects. Think of you each time I get my Banakula out to entertain the grandkids!
    Keith in Texas


    • Hal Walker


      Hi Keith. Thank you for the kind words. How was your time in St. Louis? I’ve got St. Louis 2014 on my calendar. You play the banakulas?!?!


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