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John Primer: Knocking at Your Door

John Primer is a new name on the blues scene. Remember it. On his debut as a leader, Knocking at Your Door (Telarc Blues 83456; 51:42), the former sideman to Willie Dixon, Muddy Waters and Magic Slim stings with piercing tones on guitar and sings with husky appeal and old school confidence on hard-hitting West Side Chicago-flavored originals like “Change Your Evil Ways,” “Lonely Days and Nights” and “Every Time You Touch Me.” Guitar ace Larry McCray adds some heat of his own on several tracks while his brother, Steve McCray, lays down solid, grooving time behind the kit. Blues harpist Matthew Skoller breathes fire into the title track, the driving “Hard Working Woman” and a rousing rendition of Sugar Pie DeSanto’s “I Want to Know.” The talented Skoller then joins with Primer on a powerful acoustic duo rendition of Jimmy Rogers’ “That’s Alright,” which also showcases Primer’s soul-stirring vocal prowess. Primer also should be commended for showing an enlightened attitude on his funky original “A Woman Was Made to Be Loved (and Not to Be Beat On).” This guy is a major talent, destined to be a future star of the blues.

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