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John Primer - All Original

Blues House Productions

John Primer began his blues life as a sideman and saw the world playing behind artists like Muddy Waters and Magic Slim and eventually made the transition into being a bandleader and solo artist in his own right. Now, Primer and his guitar are going through another transition, transforming into a truly independent artist who is in control of his own destiny.

His latest release, All Original, is his first effort on his own record label, Blues House Productions, and all 12 songs are Primer compositions. This is something of a dream come true for Primer, judging by the liner notes on the album, and he has plans to put out other artists on Blues House and help expose other blues performers. Primer’s intent is to preserve blues history while producing original music for the future.

Primer’s style is well known in Chicago and beyond and he does not disappoint on this new outing. He is a fine example of the old school Chicago style of blues, not blues/rock, and has one of the best voices and vibes in the business. His playing is always in the pocket and taps into the true rhythmic aspect of the blues and never ventures into post-Hendrix bombast.

The songs shine here, as well. Primer originals like “Going Back To Mississippi” and “Every Day Brings By A Change” show John at the top of his songwriting game. It’s nice to hear an album full of fresh, new cuts rather than a bunch of reworked standards. If the blues is going to survive, it is going to need new songs and more albums like this that put those songs out there.


Primer is one of the best at what he does but, after listening to his newest music, one gets the impression that a whole new part of his career is kicking off and that the really good stuff is just now starting to hit.

Reviewer Mike O'Cull is a noted Chicago music writer and Blues Blast contributor. Visit his MySpace page at:

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