Joe Filisko and Eric Noden

Blues and Roots Duo

Timeless Groove 

Joe Filisko and Eric Noden are masters of harmonica and guitar styles instrumental in shaping early and prewar blues. Their jaw-dropping virtuosity enables them to create more layers of sound and feeling than most bands. The result—in their shows and recordings—is powerful and sophisticatedly subtle performances. They are also historians and teachers dedicated to sharing this rich musical tradition and passing it along to future generations.

Filisko and Noden met at the Old Town School Of Folk Music in Chicago in 2003 (both taught at the school), bonding over early roots and blues music. They quickly decided to team up. The pair have since released six albums and performed around the world, including at the legendary Chicago Blues Festival, the Paramount Blues Festival in Grafton, Wisconsin (where early blues masters recorded), Sweden’s Eslov Blues Festival, and the Festival Ecaussines in Belgium. The duo also recorded the theme song for the “Sweet Folk Chicago” on the legendary Chicago radio station WFMT. 

Filisko and Noden are also custodians of a musical heritage who use digital tools to reach fans worldwide and teach musicians about underappreciated early blues music. The pair started streaming concerts in 2015. During the pandemic, they shifted most of their musical efforts online. They started a well-received music and conversation series featuring Peter “Madcat” Ruth, Phil Wiggins, Johnny Sansone, Erin Harp, and others.  

As the pandemic waned, Filisko and Noden decided to take much of their performance online and teach digitally to meet fans and friends worldwide. The culmination of this is their annual “RootsDuo” fest each May, a weekend of digital workshops and performances dedicated to beautiful old blues sound. 

Filisko and Noden are perennial teachers and performers at the Harmonica Masters Workshops in Trossingen, Germany (home of the harmonica manufacturer Hohner). The pair has taught workshops and performed at Australia’s Woodford Folk Festival, the Harmonicales Festival in France, and the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago.

As of 2024, Filisko and Noden are working on new music and live projects. New music will be performed at RootsDuo Fest 2024. Their recordings, digital outreach, teaching, and stewardship are a testament to their passion and immersion in the richest, most complex blues. Although rooted in the past and tradition, their music offers a timeless groove. 

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