John Primer – “Teardrops for Magic Slim” CD Review

Mar 28, 2023 | Blog, Blues News

Artist:  John Primer
CD Title:  Teardrops for Magic Slim
Label:  Blues House Productions

Many years ago guitarist/vocalist John Primer had the fortunate circumstances of working alongside Magic Slim. And though Slim passed on several years ago, John Primer has clearly emerged as a forerunner to the present blues scene in Chicago.  If you visit Rosa’s Lounge on FB, they stream many live shows and if the timing is right, you might catch Primer holding court and presenting his no nonsense thrills of electric Chicago blues. And Rosa’s Lounge proves a great jump-off point for a live album.  Wanting to salute his previous employer, Primer delivers a good time package of getting loose in Teardrops for Magic Slim.

What’s important to Primer is that people coming to see his band have a good time. This cd epitomizes house-rocking music and Primer is the chef to deliver a hot gumbo.

The party couldn’t start on a better note then with “Mama Talk To Your Daughter” that is a sweat-infused mojo boogie riding a sturdy backbone of rhythm provided by drummer Lenny Media and bassist Danny O’Connor. 

Primer keeps the party favorites coming.  His licks punch up Jimmy Dawkins’ “Luv Somebody” into a bump’n grind that can awaken a gator in the Florida swamps.

There is a nice slow blues burn In “Every Night, Every Day.” Primer’s leads are fresh and impart confidence while he is supported by second guitar player Jon McDonald.

John Primer can’t resist the shuffle template that causes patrons to head to the dance floor. And they probably did when the groove and vibrations were on in D. Malone’s “Ain’t Doing Too Bad.” Three songs into this cd you wonder if the momentum can continue.

However the pace continues and Primer holds the fort down in the moderate rocking blues of “Buddy Buddy Friend.”   Primer’s band is a backline of musicians who fire on all cylinders and push their boss to connect with his audience.  The man needs no effects. Plug your guitar into an amp and let ‘er rip. A concept that works well.

Primer shakes the set, fluctuating between moderate, fast and slow material. “Trouble Of My Own” may take the proceedings down a notch or two but it never stagnates as Primer showcases some mean fretboard skills.

Things take a slight upturn as Primer takes the infamous Willie Dixon “Let Me Love You Baby”  and turns it into party central.

That ought to be enough for fun. But this serves as the best time to unfurl the Elmore James classics “It Hurts Me Too” and “Look Over Yonder Wall.” Primer’s love for the true fathers of the blues is an education in itself and a passing of the torch from one prodigy to another. Guitar player Shawn Holt joins Primer for a couple of numbers lighting up the skies with additional guitar fireworks.

If you find yourself in Chicago and wish to soak up some live blues, head to Rosa’s Lounge. And if John Primer is gigging that night, go on in and wear your dance shoes. To sit idle through a John Primer set of raw electric Chicago Blues is impossible. Sometimes old school blues are the best thing.

Gary Weeks