Gary Primich R.I.P.

RECEIVED Tue., Sept. 25, 2007

Dear Editor,
    A friend just called me to tell me Gary Primich, local harmonica player and singer has passed away. I am basing this on a call from an Austin drummer friend of mine. He had no information on how or why Gary passed.
    Just two days ago, Gary and I were talking. Before his solo career, he was the harp player for the Mannish Boys, and he had copies of their two albums. He was going to meet me last Thursday to hand them to me. Gary missed the meeting. We talked on Saturday and did not set up another hand-off date but suggested this week. He seemed happy.
    In 1993 I decided to move to Austin. A harp-playing friend of mine put on the first couple of Primich solo records and said to look for Gary. I could tell he
   was a great player. I saw him within my first month of moving to Austin, and he was very strong. I could tell he was just going to get better, and I remember telling him that he would become one of the best of his generation. He proceeded to do just that.
    Gary put out multiple solo albums. He toured the world, doing all of his own booking and band-leading. He taught at multiple conventions, and I took lessons from him at Elkins Augusta Heritage Festival, Kerrville Folk Festival, SPAH (Society for the Preservation and Advancement of the Harmonica),and privately. I consistently told people that Gary was of of the strongest players in Austin.
    It should be noted that although most laypeople might not have been aware of Gary, in the international harmonica community, he was a huge star. If any two harp
   players were discussing modern blues masters, Gary's name was sure to be talked about quickly.
    Although he struggled with the pitfalls of the road, he recently cleaned up and told me that he had found God. There was definitely a brighter, happier Gary in the last couple of years.
    Many times I would see Gary live and marvel at his ideas, tone, phrasing, and overall professionalism. He was a musician's musician, and I salute him.
Michael Rubin
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle