Craig Brenner and Lori Wallace
House concert
Friday, July 20
6-8 p.m.

Keep live music alive! Craig Brenner is donating his keyboard talent for a concert benefiting District 5 City Council candidate Isabel Piedmont, plus feeding the need for great music in an intimate, friendly atmosphere.

Piedmont's platform includes sustainability, collaboration and addressing poverty. “Enhancing environmental sustainability, reducing poverty and nurturing the local economy are achievable if we think outside the box and work together,” she says on her Web site,

House concert, you ask? Definitions of this welcomed phenomena include a live performance before an assemblage of music enthusiasts in a private residence; a unique opportunity to experience a favorite performer, up close and personal, without musical amplification or other artificial barriers; a lively, economical alternative to those noisome, crowded, hard-to-get-to venues; and an interesting addition to the itinerary of a touring musician.

For details about this event, contact Lorraine Farrell, campaign chair, at . Requested donation is $10 for a perfect evening of food, music and community involvement.


Joe Filisko and Eric Noden
Players Pub
Saturday, July 28
Workshops plus 8 p.m. performance

Thank you, Cathi Norton! And to all area musicians who use their passion and pull to bring world-class musicians to Bloomington. The next such installment is Joe Filisko, custom harmonica maker, stellar performer and educator from Chicago.

Norton’s Finally Productions provides a rare opportunity for anyone who would love to learn to play harmonica, or would like to improve their skill. Filisko will offer two workshops before his evening performance with guitarist Eric Noden.

To sign up for classes, contact Roadworthy Guitar & Amp, 115 S. Walnut, 332-2145. For more information, contact Finally Productions at 219-4882 or Players Pub at 334-2080. Read Joe Filisko’s bio online at

See bio at the end of the Long List.


Art Recycling Life
Bellevue Gallery
107 West 9th Street
Through August 10

Honor recycling and art by visiting the artist co-op known as Bellevue Gallery.

"Besides the obvious use of recycled materials, this exhibit is an experiment in thinking beyond the canvas, one that has produced many thought provoking ideas," says Bellevue artist Layla Caplinger.

Artists in the show:
Layla Caplinger
Johnnie Belinda Ramey
Steve Conard
Sammye D. Smith
Joanne Shank
BJ Irvin
Sara Steffy McQueen
William Talley
Hanna and Hayley Hatfield

The gallery is located in the lobby of the Bloomington Playwrights Project. For more information call 355-9207 or visit and choose “galleries.” Several of Bellevue’s members also have web pages on this site. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. 5 p.m.


A benefit for Community Kitchen of Monroe County, Inc.
First United Methodist Church
Sunday, July 29
6 - 9 p.m.

Help the Bloomington Playwrights Project decrease hunger in Monroe County. The evening includes a wine and cheese reception, a nourishing dinner of simple homemade fare, and an evening of poems and monologues about hunger and homelessness with a special performance from Improvised Movement Theater artist Nell Weatherwax. Cost is $30 for one person, $55 for two people, $75 for three people and $90 for four. Bring your friends and fam! Tickets can be purchased from Community Kitchen at 917 S. Rogers Street or at the BPP at 107 W. 9th (M-F 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.). Call the Community Kitchen at 332-0999 or the BPP at 334-1188 for more info.


Bloomington Classical Guitar Society
Trio Concert
Downtown Copper Cup
415 North College Avenue
August 4
4 p.m.

The Bloomington Classical Guitar Society is a not-for-profit dedicated to advancing the art of classical guitar in South Central Indiana through performance, education and outreach. Come hear members and add some delight to your Saturday afternoon.


Joe Filisko's Bio

Joe Filisko is curious. If you backtrack a little through history, you might find Joe Filisko—a man who initially thought he would like to be a magician for the wonder and skill involved—making a practical decision instead: to pursue a career as a machinist. Off he went to college, only to discover he could augment his studies and indulge his creativity with music. He helped form a guitar orchestra that soon found themselves gaining notoriety by performing to enthusiastic crowds.

His interests in music (especially blues) and things precise continued to expand. Then after college he bought a one-man business (Ravco, Inc.) and marveling at simple but beautiful sounds of diatonic harmonica, began to play, research, and tinker with the instrument itself. His skills as a machinist and his curiosity about what makes a harmonica work, soon had him refining, evolving, and designing his own. His skills brought him to the attention of many harp masters, and today Joe is renowned for his custom-made harmonicas. Two more interests—learning and teaching—brought him familiarity with the history and styles of great harmonica masters of the past. Today Joe can make a harp play and sound like most harmonica players insist it should, and he works closely with many of them: Howard Levy, Kim Wilson, Neil Young, Mickey Raphael, Charlie Musselwhite, Rick Estrin, Gary Primich – to name but a few. They come for specially built and tuned instruments of their craft and you explore possibilities of customizing not done before.

His love for education continues as a teacher at the Old Town School of Folk Music; his machinist skills keep putting out harmonicas that have been referred to as “works of art;” and his delight in the musical sounds and skills of playing move forward with his work as studio musician, blues band member (Carl Davis Blues Band), and with Eric Noden in a duo that specializes in pre-War acoustic blues. Filisko has taught, performed and judged competitions on three continents, for numerous festivals, and workshops and was named “Harmonica Player of the Year” in 2001 by the Society for the Advancement of Harmonica (SPAH) in the U.S.

Joe has the rare ability to communicate the techniques and joy of playing, whether his listeners are of beginning or advanced abilities. His zeal for teaching is matched by his determination to learn. He is a relentless researcher, led to the recent completion of his "Complete Discography of (Big) Walter Horton" and a compelling article on the history of harmonica/train sounds.

His upcoming visit to Bloomington on July 28 will include both performing and teaching. That afternoon, he offers two 75-minute harmonica workshops to anyone interested. The first is “Beginning Blues Harp.” The second is “Advanced Harmonica in the Rural Country Blues Tradition.” They will be held at a cost of $20 per session, or $35 for both. After the workshops, Filisko and duo partner, Eric Noden, will offer an evening’s performance. Cost is $5.

Eric Noden is an Ohio native who began his musical career as an electric guitarist and soon became enamored with finger-picking “...because I felt it had a lot of soul and the guitar playing was so percussive and dynamic.” Noden gets around in fine style on barrelhouse piano as well. He worked with a gospel group for a time and that roundly developed his vocal style. In 1994 he moved to Chicago where he quickly became a staple in the City’s blues clubs as an adept acoustic performer and also a teacher at Old Town School of Folk Music—a coveted instructor gig. Two solo CDs to his credit and numerous heady kudos from professionals and publications alike, Noden recently released his first CD with Filisko to loud acclaim. Both are experts at their craft: instructors, historians, and performers.

Workshop participants (space will be limited) can sign up at Roadworthy Guitar (115 S. Walnut-Bloomington, 332-2145). Performance tickets for July 28 can be purchased at the door of Player’s Pub (424 S. Walnut Street in Bloomington, 334-2080) for $5 on the night of the show. For more information about Filisko and Noden, the workshops, or the performance, contact Finally Productions (812/219-4882). Filisko and Noden will appear, and also provide harmonica workshops, in Indianapolis on Friday, July 27 – and on that day will be featured in an interview segment on WISH-TV.

Melissa McReynolds can be reached at