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HOT SHOW - May 6: John Primer at Hey Nonny

Hey Nonny (Arlington Hts.)

Photo: Roman Sobus

John Primer & The Real Deal Blues Band will perform two shows, at 7 and 9 p.m. on Thursday May 6 at Hey Nonny, Arlington Hts.

When it comes to traditional Chicago style blues, John Primer is as real as it gets. He even named his group The Real Deal Blues Band. As a teen, Primer moved from his home in Mississippi to Chicago in 1963 during the “Golden Era” of Chicago blues and quickly became a part of the scene here. In 1974 he joined the house band at Theresa’s Lounge and eventually became the bandleader. For seven years, he got to play with blues originators like Sammy Lawhorn, Junior Wells, Buddy Guy, Smokey Smothers, Lonnie Brooks and more.

John became known for his guitar skills (lead, rhythm, slide) along with his powerful vocals and band leading skills. In 1979, Primer was asked to join Willie Dixon’s band, the Chicago Blues All Stars. Six months later, Muddy Waters heard him and recruited Primer to serve as his guitarist, bandleader and opening act. After Muddy’s passing in 1983, he joined internationally popular Magic Slim & The Teardrops and stayed with them for 13 years.

In 1995, John formed his own band and released 16 of his own albums, while touring all over the world. He also served as a session player on countless albums by other artists. In total, he has played on at least 85 recordings, including his own releases. Notably, he played guitar for a few songs on the album Joined at The Hip by Pinetop Perkins and Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, which went on to win a Grammy.

He’s been nominated twice for a Grammy for his contributions to Chicago Blues: A Living History and Muddy Waters 100: the Official Tribute Album. Primer won a Blues Music Award for Best Traditional Blues Artist. He also was inducted into the Chicago Blues Hall of Fame as a Legendary Blues Artist.

And now Primer has a new album, with frequent musical partner and blues harp virtuoso Bob Corritore, released on May 1, 2020 -- The Gypsy Woman Told Me on the VizzTone label.

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