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‘Real Deal’ bluesman back in BG PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sentinel-Tribune Staff   
Tuesday, 08 October 2013 09:25
Last time bluesman John Primer was in Bowling Green, he pulled double duty.
He'd been booked to play the Main Stage Sunday afternoon of the 2010 Black Swamp Arts Festival. Country legend Charlie Louvin was gravely ill - he died five months later - and cancelled on short notice as the festival's closer.
So Primer stepped up and extended his set. Not a problem, he said at the time. It was an honor.
That's about what's expected of the blues veteran, who started playing on an instrument he tacked together from a broom stick, nails and rocks, inspired to play guitar by the music he heard coming from his grandmother's radio.
Primer returns to Bowling Green for a show Saturday at 8 p.m. at Grounds for Thought, 174 S. Main St.
He was steeped in music gospel, spirituals, rhythm 'n' blues and blues.
The Mississippi native started singing in the Baptist church as a child and playing a borrowed guitar at 8.
A decade later he left the hardscrabble sharecropper's life following the footsteps of the laborers and musicians who headed north, arriving in Chicago, the capital of the urban blues.
It took him years to finally put out his own album, after working with legends including Magic Slim and Muddy Waters. He also held down long-term gigs at southside hot spots Theresa's  Lounge and the Checkerboard Lounge.
When Primer did wax his major label for Atlantic first session in 1995, the name said it all: "The Real Deal."
Since then he's put out more than a dozen albums, earning multiple blues honors and a Grammy nomination.
His most recent "Blues on Solid Ground," affirms his faith in the music that brought him from a hard life of a sharecropper in rural Mississippi to stages around the world.
As the website Blues on Stage stated: "John Primer is one of the driving forces in helping to keep alive the more traditional Chicago blues sound."

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