John Primer


musical style: 

photograph of John Primer and Bob Corritore

Veteran Chicago guitarist John Primer teams up with Arizona’s beloved emissary of the blues, Bob Corritore (who also produced the album), for a knock-out session of classic Windy City blues. The session covers material from the songbooks of Little Walter, Robert Lockwood Jr., Willie Dixon, Jimmy Reed and Lightnin’ Hopkins, among many others, and features a crack team of A-list musicians including guitarists Billy Flynn and Chris James, pianist Barrelhouse Chuck, bassists Bob Stroger and Patrick Rynn, as well as Kenny ‘Beedy Eyes’ Smith and Brian Fahey on drums.

The blues roads of John Primer and Bob Corritore have been running parallel for so long, it was almost inevitable that they would eventually join forces in a musical collaboration. In the 1970's when a young Primer was in Junior Wells' house band at Theresa's on Chicago's South Side, a young Corritore spent many nights in the audience, absorbing some of the world's greatest blues in that small basement tavern.

A few years later Primer was recruited into the Muddy Waters Band, and Corritore relocated to Phoenix, AZ , where he became one of the leading figures in that city's blues scene, not only as a harmonica player, but also as a club owner, radio DJ, and record producer. Primer later spent time in the bands of Magic Slim and James Cotton, before breaking out on his own and recording a series of acclaimed releases leading his own band.

At the same time, Corritore was producing and performing on a string of blues releases of his own, earning glowing accolades and honors along the way. Both men are deeply rooted in the classic Chicago blues tradition, so it was only a matter of time before they collaborated. The only surprise is that it took them until 2012!

But the resulting CD was well worth the wait, and has brought out the best in both artists. Primer digs deep into the raw and heavy sound that he started out playing with the veterans of Chicago's South Side blues scene. Corritore's harp wails and moans with echoes of Little Walter, Junior Wells and James Cotton, while still sounding unmistakably like his own man.

This is one of the most consistently satisfying traditional-style blues releases since the heyday of Chicago blues. So put it on, turn it up, and enjoy the sounds of these two consummate pros "Knockin' Around These Blues!"

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