John Primer Band | Rosa's Lounge | Blues, Gospel, and R&B | Chicago Reader
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John Primer Band 

When: Fri., April 17, 9:30 p.m. 2015
Price: $15-$20
Before John Primer joined Muddy Waters in 1980, he was a house guitarist at the late Theresa’s Lounge (4801 S. Indiana), where alongside former Waters fret man Sammy Lawhorn, he backed legendary figures like Junior Wells, James Cotton, and Buddy Guy. After his stint with Waters, Primer joined Magic Slim before breaking out on his own in 1995. He’s internationally feted for his dedication to the shuffle-driven Chicago style coupled with his unique ability to update it with modernist melodic and rhythmic conceits, as well as write inventive lyrics that steer clear of tired she-done-me-wrong blues cliches. His latest recording, 2013’s Knockin’ Around These Blues (Delta Groove), is one of his rootsiest, but it retains his characteristic in-the-moment exuberance and quick-minded improvisational flair—plus his performances remain invariably tight and musically rewarding. This show is billed as a birthday tribute to Theresa Needham, the proprietor of Theresa’s, who was born on this day in 1912 (she died in ’92, nine years after her club closed). Primer is sure to be more inspired than ever, and it’s likely that those in the club’s old guard who can show up will do their best to re-create the raucous family atmosphere that made T’s a mecca for blues lovers for more than three decades. —David Whiteis

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