Location: 339 Central Avenue Albany, NY 12206 (map)
As the title of his critically acclaimed Atlantic Record CD suggests, Grammy Award and Handy Award Nominee, John Primer is truly “The Real Deal.” At eight years old, John borrowed his first guitar and started to strum. With the sounds of Jimmy Reed, Muddy Waters, Little Milton, Elmore James, B.B. & Albert King reverberating through his Grandmother Laura Nell’s tube radio, John was instantly hooked. He was fascinated with Blues music and set forth on a life long path of becoming a musical force. Early inspiration came from his family steeped in spiritual, gospel, and church, and went on to play at house parties and fish frys in and around his hometown of Camden, Mississippi.
At the age of eighteen, feeling restless and in search of further audiences, John followed the path of his mentors and migrated to Chicago in the fall of 1963. He quickly found work in the era when modern Electric Blues and the West and South Sides sounds were first taking shape. Forming his first band The Maintainers in 1964, John and his old Harmony guitar rocked such West Side clubs as The Place, The Bow Tie, and Lover’s Lounge. By 1968 John had left The Maintainers when the opportunity arouse to front the Soul and R&B group The Brotherhood. Jamming late into the night and practicing by day, John was forming his own unique style and expanding his repertoire. John’s success would lead him in 1974 to replace John Watkins in the house band at the world famous Theresa’s Lounge on the South Side. Over the course of the next five years, John would play with such originators as Sammy Lawhorn, Junior Wells, Buddy Guy, Smokey Smothers, Lonnie Brooks, and a host of other innovators sculpting the sound of the Chicago Blues scene.
It was during this part in John’s career that quite a few people were taking note of this outstanding performer. In 1979, master songwriter and bassist Willie Dixon persuaded him to join his band The Chicago All Stars. Traveling through the US, Mexico and Europe, John developed his skills as a rhythm guitarist, a lead slide player, and a powerful singer. Another Blues master who believed in John Primer was none other than the “Hoochie Coochie Man” himself, Muddy Waters. Muddy recruited John not only as a guitarist, but also as an opening act. As he did with so many other great musicians, Muddy served as a father to John, instilling in him an unrelenting passion for the music that gave birth to Rock and Roll. John stayed loyal to Muddy until his untimely death in 1983.
Fresh off the heels of his success with the Muddy Waters Band, John signed on with the legendary Magic Slim. For the next fourteen years, he toured with Magic Slim & The Teardrops, bringing tight, house rocking sounds to every corner of the planet. But John’s days as a sideman were numbered, and in 1995 the veteran Blues man released his major label debut “The Real Deal”. He has since toured extensively in support of his ten solo albums to date. With John Primer’s strong traditionalist Blues phrasing and lightning fast slide technique, few artists can match him. A master storyteller and songwriter, his catalog of songs is endless and his sound is unforgettable. John Primer & The Real Deal Blues Band continues to electrify audiences at clubs and festivals and remain a driving force in the world of Blues music today.