Gary Primich | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Gary Primich 

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I haven't seen harp player Gary Primich since about 1980, when he was a fresh-faced young hustler blowing alongside the grizzled veterans on Maxwell Street every Sunday morning. Primich was still refining his style, and it was tantalizing to hear: he coaxed a lush warble from his harp reminiscent of Big Walter Horton, and he was already showing a remarkable technical facility, swooping and scurrying through rapid-fire upper-register changes like a more sedate version of Sugar Blue. Primich is based in Texas these days, meaning he's had plenty of opportunity to absorb both the swinging refinement of the T-Bone Walker Legacy and the rock-tinged electric blues of Johnny "Clyde" Copeland, Albert Collins, and their post-1950 contemporaries. Going to hear a performer who hasn't been seen in town for nearly a decade, and who was in the process of finding his voice even then, is something of a crapshoot, but Primich has the talent to make it worth the gamble. Wednesday, FitzGerald's, 6615 Roosevelt, Berwyn; 708-788-2118.


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