Gary Primich with Omar Dykes

Gary Primich with Omar Dykes
Just a Little Bit More

CD BABY - B007Y56X00

By Bluebird
November 2012

This record is a release in tribute to the honorable Gary Primich, published by his dear friends and musician colleagues with one goal, to address Mr. Primich's open aggravation that the majority of the population “didn't recognize good blues.” And maybe to continue another, which was to “elevate harmonica's poor image as a musical instrument.” (Cathi Norton, liner notes).

The biography that wraps this two disc package is a memoriam in and of itself. For Primich and blues collectors alike, the collection is thoughtful, creative and done with respectful care. It also maintains the fun, spontaneous character that elevated Primich not only to legendary status among his peers in playing the harp, but to an unforgettable spirit in the life of friendships.

In the generosity of giving away trade secrets, Omar Dykes donated 16 songs to this record.

I reviewed the Omar Dykes Essential Collection earlier this year and got honestly hooked on "Alligator Wine," but I was new to the entirety of Gary Primich's catalog until I got this record. If the goal of this record is to introduce new listeners to good blues from Primich and others, then this album has scored big.

This is the type of record that creates a great atmosphere throughout your home. You can put it on and just enjoy it, as the tracks are rhythmic, filling the air with a positive slide vibe. I popped it in on a Saturday morning and within minutes of "Satellite Rock," my jazz loving husband was bucking around the living room, while our 9 year-old daughter was twirling to the extended guitar notes and rhythms of "Sweet Fine Angel."

Just a Little Bit More says, "cool blues party" which, according to the liner notes, seemed to be the inclusive personality of Mr. Primich himself. How wonderful that those who were closest to him, who knew him, could create this warmth with these hand-picked songs.

"Caress Me Baby" has Omar Dykes on vocals with Gary Primich on the harp, simmering up a slow ballad originally written by Jimmy Reed. The guitar work by Gary Clark and Derek OBrien frames out the song to let the harp be the showcase.

The songs on this record are steeped in tradition. "Midnight Ramblin Man" is a Dykes/Primich staple and signature Dykes indeed. A stand-out for catchiness is "Money Habit." There is some great blending of Richard Grigsby's funky Fender bass, moving along the full, rounded sound of Primich's harmonica when he's not leveling the field with his straight shot of vocals. Chris Hunter offers a mix of varied percussions, including the tambourine that gives the whole thing a fun sound, reflecting the whimsical nature of the lyrics. John Juke Logan lets his Hammond B-3 organ just hum along the background to give the bridge intensity. As for guitars, Lorne Shorty, the pen name of Lenoir Petkau, does what a good blues guitarist should do, he plays it out what's best for the song; talent that doesn't show off or overwhelm everyone else in the room. Now that's good listening for the rest of us!

I loved "September Song," and this may be one of my favorite tracks on the album. Completely instrumental, Gary Primich sings to us with his harmonica. It is sad, sweet, simple and complex all at the same time. Hunter keeps time with the percussion, while the well-paced, low Fender bass work from Grigsby gives it a formal, standards feel. Lorne Petkau's guitar is high and sweet. A beautiful piece of work done by all, there are even hints of some soul tones in the harp, really pure joy!

"House Rockin Party" brings back the New Orleans vibe that Primich wanted so much to preserve in Chicago. Wesselowski's bass keeps it funky, while the well appointed band is steady to run the song understated while Primich's harmonica shines.

Disc One of Just A Little Bit More will have you wanting a lot more from Gary Primich and his blues aficionado masters. Rock it out at the Hoo Doo ball with the spirit of good blues and legendary friendships!

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