Today, Gary Primich is thought of as one of the premier harp players in the State of Texas. However, it is interesting to note that Primich was actually born in the blues hotbed of Chicago, Illinois and raised in nearby Gary, Indiana. After picking up the harmonica in his teens, Primich did his homework, studying the styles of Sonny Boy Williamson and Little Walter while practicing his chops by playing with bands on historic Maxwell Street and frequenting the clubs on the West and South Sides of Chicago while attending the University of Indiana.
In the 1980’s, Primich relocated to Central Texas, finding himself in another blues hotbed, Austin, Texas, where he began to develop his reputation as a Texas harp player. Over the years, that reputation has grown and included the release of seven solo albums and recording work with other Texas legends like Omar and The Howlers (“Omar” Kent Dykes).
Gary Primich and his band, including Charlie Dunbar (guitar), Dave Wesselowski (bass) and Jon Hahn (drums), put in the first of several shows around Minnesota at Legend’s Bar & Grill in St. Cloud, Minnesota for their Wednesday Nite Blues Revue.
Primich and his band opened the first set at Legend’s with an instrumental that featured solos by Primich and guitarist, Charlie Dunbar. Following this nice opening tune, the band continued the set with a variety of songs from Primich’s solo albums, plus several other excellent songs. The instrumental was followed by “Hustler,” from his first self-titled recording; “Ding Dong Daddy,” from Travelin’ Mood, a song originally recorded by harpman Jerry McCain, as well as “Shake The Boogie,” from the same recording; “I Can’t Stand You When You’re Drinking,” from Primich’s current CD, Dog House Rules; and “I Lost My Mind,” from Botheration. The songs were filled with some great harp work by Primich, played off against by Dunbar’s tasty guitar, while Hahn and Wesselowski maintained a solid back beat. The set ended as it had started, with a second powerhouse instrumental.
Primich’s show at Legend’s Bar & Grill in St. Cloud proved that Primich has a strong hold on his reputation as one of the premier harp players in Texas and across the country. He clearly enjoys his work and his band works comfortably with the repertoire. Legend’s continues to be a great place to listen to the blues and the bands always enjoy the knowledge exhibited by the appreciative crowds. If you live in St. Cloud or are in the area on Wednesday nights, check out the Blues Revue; it’s worth the trip.
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