The Chicago blues scene has always needed talented players like Camden, Miss. native Alfonso "John" Primer to play on everybody's albums and fill the clubs when Buddy Guy or Otis Rush is on tour someplace else. He's an excellent guitarist who played for 13 years with the Chicago fixture Magic Slim and the Teardrops-that was essentially an extension of his long gig as house guitarist at the South Side's Theresa's Lounge. He recorded his solo debut, "Stuff You Got to Watch," in 1993, which began a career of solid, credible Chicago blues with few twists or distinctive ideas.
Primer's latest was recorded and mixed January 6-13, 2000 at RaxTrax Recording Company in Chicago and contains 12 tracks. Joining Primer is the fine harmonicist Matthew Skoller, guitarist Larry McCray, pianist/organist Ken Saydak, bassist Al Brown, drummer Steve McCray and percussionist Mike Vernon.
Primer has a decent voice and his band is the proficient type that one hopes to find playing in their local club. "Knocking at Your Door" is an excellent reward for a musician so important for so long in the Chicago blues scene.
This review is copyright © 2000 by Matt Alcott, and Blues On Stage, all rights reserved.