Gary Primich | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Gary Primich

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Ten or 11 years ago a young-looking harmonica player with a bushy beard and an eager, ready-to-please grin began to sit in on the Sunday morning sets at the Maxwell Street market. Most regulars knew him as "Gary from Gary" and raved about his knack for fusing dexterous technical virtuosity with sweet-toned soulfulness. Then, just as suddenly as he'd appeared, young Gary was gone. It turns out he moved to Texas, where he's spent the better part of the last decade fronting a series of rollicking roadhouse aggregations and incorporating elements of the diverse Texas postwar blues tradition into his style. Primich does not overrely on the wide-mouthed full-chord attack favored by many Chicago harp blowers. He takes what's primarily a harmonic instrument and stretches its single-note potential, his lines weaving and exploring like a lead guitar player's, referring to chords and harmonies in the way they elaborate on the melody line. Such inventiveness is welcome any time, and it's especially encouraging in such a young musician. Friday, 9 PM, Buddy Guy's Legends, 754 S. Wabash; 427-0333 or 427-1190.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/James Holland.

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