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John Primer has been a long-standing performer at BLUE CHICAGO knocking out great Blues music since he first performed at BLUE CHICAGO with the legendary Magic Slim in 1985. Since then he has surely sealed his reputation as “The Real Deal.”  John Primer has been a long-standing performer at BLUE CHICAGO knocking out great Blues music since he first performed at BLUE CHICAGO with the legendary Magic Slim in 1985. Since then he has surely sealed his reputation as “The Real Deal.” 

At 8 years old, John borrowed his first guitar and started to strum. With the sounds of Jimmy Reed, Muddy Waters, Little Milton, Elmore James, BB & Albert King reverberating through his Grandmother Laura Nell’s tube radio, John was instantly hooked.  Early inspiration came from spirituals, gospel, blues and R&B tradition.  John first appeared on stage at the local Baptist church, in his hometown of Camden Mississippi.

At the age of eighteen, John followed the path of his mentors and migrated to Chicago in the fall of 1963.  He quickly found work in an era when Chicago’s modern electric Blues sounds were first taking shape. Forming his first band, The Maintainers in 1964, John rocked the West Side clubs.  By 1968 John fronted The Brotherhood, a Soul and R&B group, forming his own unique style and expanding his repertoire.  Over the course of the next 7 years, John would play with such greats as Sammy Lawhorn, Junior Wells, Buddy Guy, and Lonnie Brooks, all innovators sculpting the sound of Chicago Blues.

In 1979, master songwriter and bassist Willie Dixon persuaded him to join his band, The Chicago All Stars.  John developed his skills as a rhythm guitarist, a lead slide player, and a powerful singer.  Another blues master who believed in John Primer was none other than the “Hoochie Coochie Man” himself, Muddy Waters.  Muddy recruited John not only as a guitarist, but also as an opening act and bandleader.  As he did with so many other great musicians, Muddy served as a father to John, instilling in him an unrelenting passion for the music that gave birth to Rock and Roll.  John stayed loyal to Muddy until his untimely death in 1983. 

Fresh off the heels of his success with the Muddy Waters Band, John signed on with the legendary Magic Slim.  For the next 14 years, he toured with Magic Slim & The Teardrops, bringing tight, house rocking sounds to every corner of the planet. They were voted the best blues band in the world year after year and are still thought of today as the inventors of “the lump”, the Chicago Blues sound.

In 1995 the John released his major label debut “The Real Deal” on Atlantic Records. Deciding to make it on his own, he began touring extensively in support of his twelve solo albums to date. John formed his independent record label, Blues House Productions in 2008. John is a Living Legend and has been given the Lifetime Achievement Award many times and is a Grammy Nominated Blues Artist. Being one of the last Traditional Blues Artists, he was taught the old way (some say, “the right way”) by our founding fathers of the Blues. We need to cherish this history and celebrate his amazing music!



Two calibers of singers exist in today’s music industry. There are vocalists and then there are entertainers. Laretha Weathersby is both.  Her dynamic, effervescent stage presence is unparalleled and her sultry, wispy vibrato makes her a Blues natural.

Voted 2009-2010’s “Chicago Blues Diva of the Year,” she belts out traditional Blues classics with passion and poise and delivers riveting renditions of timeless R&B, Soul and Top 40 tunes, all while captivating crowds with her jovial disposition and dynamic dancing.  Known for her rousing stage presence, crowd members rarely blink when Laretha hits the stage, fearing they will miss one of her signature dance moves or the chance to chant along with the charismatic chanteuse.

Reigning from the Southside of Chicago, Laretha’s mother, a former Gospel soloist, detected her daughter’s singing abilities and enrolled the toddler in piano classes and encouraged her as a teenager to be an active member of the choir at the family’s place of worship. But it was not until the 1990s that Laretha began to cultivate a personal relationship with Blues music.

Emerging as one of the premiere female Blues vocalists in the City of Chicago in the late 1990s, Laretha has performed at such legendary Blues hotspots as The Kingston Mines, BLUES on Halsted and since 2010 is a spectacular presence here at BLUE CHICAGO.

Her debut album – Dance the Blues Away – is an eclectic mix of traditional Blues infused with remnants of contemporary R&B and Soul. The album reveals Laretha’s reverence for conventional Blues music while flaunting her fluent transition into contemporary R & B and Soul.

According to Ms. Weathersby, “the power of Blues music lies in its ability to relate to each and every member of the human race. People of all different backgrounds can connect with the universal concepts of love, triumph and tribulation, which are the very elements upon which Blues music is based. I consider it an honor and joy to incorporate that human element into my live performances and it is with passion and humility that I accept the honor and challenge of preserving Blues music for future generations.”


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