Hank Mowery
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Hank Mowery

Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States | Established. Jan 01, 1995 | INDIE

Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 1995
Band Blues Roots


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"Blues Underground"

Just received Hank Mowery's newest release, "Account To Me", and I must say I was pretty impressed, not only with the album, but also the concept of it, being part tribute/appreciation and part regular album.

The tribute/appreciation part of the album is for the late Blues Singer/Harmonica Player Gary Primich, whom tragically passed away September 23, 2007 and features five of his songs including two that were previously unrecorded.

Gary Primich's association with Hank Mowery came by way of invite "different acts from around the country to “join” The Hawktones for an evening to add excitement and show off talented performers he had come to know over the years". “The Hawktones” have included many greats including Doug Deming, Dennis Gruenling, Nick Moss, and the legendary Gary Primich, to name just a very few. "Account To Me" was not only a Hank Mowery project, it was a project that had the full collaboration of the family of Gary Primich.

"Account To Me" consists of ten tracks, five as previously mentioned, are Gary Primich originals with the remaining five including a couple of songs by Hank Mowery, a new song from Patrick Recob, whom plays Bass on this album and whom was also the Bassist for Gary Primich, and a couple of covers, one of Memphis Slim's called "Banana Oil" and one of Rev. Robert Wilkins' called "That's No Way To Get Along".

In addition to Hank Mowery (Vocals/Harmonica) and Patrick Recob (Bass/Vocals/Acoustic Guitar), "Account To Me" also featured artists Troy Amaro (Guitar), Chris Corey (Piano/B3 & Wurlitzer Organs), John Large (Drums/Percussion), Jimmie Stagger (Vocals/National/Guitar), and Junior Valentine (2nd Guitar on Various Tracks). In addition to Patrick Recob's musical and vocal work on "Account To Me", he also was the albums Associate Producer.

Thorough and informative liner notes are always a welcome treat on any well thought out CD packaging and "Account To Me" has some of the best, which were put together by Gary's longtime friend Tad Robinson, also a mighty fine Vocalist and Harp player. In addition to a wonderful write up about Gary Primich, the liner notes also contains wonderfully detailed info on each and every Track on "Account To Me". The highly respected and sought after Kate Moss, of Moonshine Design, (not the model), was responsible for the great design work.

"Account To Me" gets the party rolling with "Spend A Little Time With Me", a really nice fast tempo number written by Mowery and Recob. One of the interesting things about this Track is the fact that there is no Guitar, which did not detract from the song in the least, in fact I found it quite unique sounding.

The next Track up is the first of two previously unrecorded tunes, and the title Track "Account To Me". This song was handed to Mowery via JV Primich, Gary's dad and Executive Producer of this album. It is a slow soulful ballad, done in 6/8 timing which was actually quite popular with Elvis, Percy Sledge, and a young John Lennon, whom all loved this type of ballad. The song certainly strikes a familiar cord, as "the singer requests the ultimate gift from his lover: honesty". This is a beautiful song, sung wonderfully via Hank Mowery, with Recob on Acoustic Guitar, Chris Corey on Piano, Troy Amaro on Guitar, and John Large on Drums.

The other unreleased song was Track 6 "Tricky Game", "a song about 'the every-changing rules of relationships", where the "math just doesn't add up". This song is done in a Piano forward style with a flavor of New Orleans touched slightly with a Rhumba beat. This particular tune is considered to be Gary's hallmark style, "a blues hybrid with a melody you can hang your hat on and a clever lyric".

Another unique style that Gary made a career out of was offered up via the first cover on "Account To Me", Track 5 "Banana Oil", a Memphis Slim instrumental composition. Lots of great Drum, Piano, and Harp work on this Latin infused beauty.

Track 7 "My Home", a Gary Primich original, offers us a great "Straight-Up, Smokin' Blues Shuffle" that Mowery does a wonderful job with, both Vocally and on Harp. Junior Valentine gets in on the action, as well, with some great Guitar work. "My Home" was my favourite song on "Account To Me'.

"Account To Me", closes the set with the Rev. Robert Wilkins composition, "That's No Way To Get Along". This has Jimmie Stagger stepping in and doing a wonderful job as Vocalists, as well as, playing a mean National Guitar, and as throughout the album, Hank Mowery, played some more fantastic Harp. This one was a really good closer for this extraordinary album.

I have had the opportunity to listen to a fair number of Tribute albums over the last few years and although one might say that this one goes even farther beyond the scope of simply being a Tribute album, it never the less, pays an amazing homage to an amazing artist. JV Primich, Hank Mowery, and all the other amazing contributors on "Account To Me", have shown us all, that they have put nothing less than all their heart into this lasting legacy of dedication for Gary Primich.

5***** Highly Recommended and Thoroughly Enjoyed...

Review by John Vermilyea (Blues Underground Network) - John Vermilyea

"Seattle Post"

While they don't often get much credit, The Fabulous Thunderbirds-standing on the shoulders of Paul Butterfield and Charlie Musselwhite-helped popularize the template of blue-eyed rockin' blues bands built around a strong guitar player (Jimmy Vaughan) and a notable singer/harmonica player (Kim Wilson). Before his death on September 23, 2007 at the age of 49, Chicago-born but Austin-based singer/guitarist/harpist Gary Primich followed in the T-Birds' wake, but he left his own legacy behind that continues to inspire other players in the genre.

hankmowery1For example, last year, a wonderful retrospective, Just a Little Bit More . . . with Omar Dykes, was a two-disc set drawing from four of Primich's solo albums, tracks he played on with Dykes, and unreleased material guitarist Dykes found in his archives. The collection remains indispensable listening both for the performances and the variety of musical styles Primach had mastered.

Now, while not precisely a tribute album, Hank Mowery's Account to Me is as deep a bow as one musician can make to another. To begin, the disc was produced in collaboration with the Primich family. In fact, the project began after a 2012 tribute concert when Gary's sister, Darsha asked Mowery if he'd record two songs left behind only as lyrics. Account to Me developed as Mowery wanted to flesh the project out into a full album.

Five tracks are Primich compositions including "Put the Hammer Down," "My Home" and "Pray for a Cloudy Day," along with the two never-before-recorded songs, "Tricky Game" and the title track. In addition to other Primich sidemen, Gary's former bassist Patrick Recob not only plays on the album, he composed one of the tracks. Beyond what's on the disc, singer/harmonica player Tad Robinson, a longtime Primich friend, wrote the liner notes about the songs and Primich's importance to the blues. In addition, according to Mowery, "I contacted Kate Moss to design the CD because she and her husband Nick had become somewhat close with Gary and actually had recorded with him not long before he passed away."

Along with the Primich covers, there are two Mowery originals including the raucous album opener, "Spend a Little Time," and "If I Knew What I Know," a reflective song written in the aftermath of Primich's death but not completed until 2012. In the spirit of Primich, other cover songs include Memphis Slim's "Banana Oil" and Rev. Robert Wilkins' "That's No Way to Get Along." To create the perfect setting for this material, Mowery worked to create a sound that Primach would have liked, and sought out an all-analog studio in Grand Rapids. The warmth and old-fashioned feel of the sessions is obvious from start to finish, as all the musicians were chosen for their personal connections to Primich or had respect for his work.

As a result, Account to Me isn't a chock-full-of-chops display of blues virtuosity, but rather a rockin' collection of blues tunes that sounded both like they were fun to record and treated with a level of seriousness due to the point of it all. Account to Me, then, is a worthy homage to its inspiration and a much better-than-average sampling of white boy blues with an emphasis on the harmonica. If the T-Birds and their descendants are your cup of tea, don't miss this one. Put it on your shelf alongside Just a Little Bit More. Together, they make for a heck of a blues primer. - Wesley Brittan

"Parc Bench"

Hank Mowery – Account To Me
Label: Old Pal Records

With Account To Me, blues/rock vocalist and harmonica player extraordinaire Hank Mowery pays tribute to a worthy mentor. The album features five songs written by the late singer/harmonica player Gary Primich, including two previously-unrecorded tunes. It is a heartfelt tip of the hat in the best possible way — the album is full of quality tracks and cover an incredible musical territory with its ten solid tracks. Who knew harmonica-centered blues could sound as smooth and erudite as this?

Hank Mowery & Jimmie Stagger – “That’s No Way To Get Along”…

There is a timeless quality to much of the music on Account To Me… as if they were recorded in some sort of studio that was able to endow the songs with whatever atmosphere served them best, whether it be doo-wop, country or roadhouse. The effect is something like finely tuning in a late night radio station in some kind of blues “Twilight Zone.” The music is new, the attitude is classic.

The album features musicians who blend seamlessly (and standout a mile when called for), including: Patrick Recob (bass), John Large (drums), Troy Amaro (guitar), Chris Corey (piano), Jimmie Stagger (vocals and guitar) and Junior Valentine (guitar). The give and take between the instruments paints the air with an abundance of emotional colors, not just blues.

Essential Downloads: “Account To Me,” “Pray For A Cloudy Day,” “That’s No Way To Get Along.” - Greg Victor

"Blues Blast Magazine"

Hank Mowery – Account To Me
Old Pal Records
10 tracks / 38:07
Many musicians record tribute albums that include material made popular by artists that have inspired them or touched their lives. Most always the muse is a nationally or internationally known artist that has been active in popular culture for decades. Then there is Hank Mowery, who just released Account to Me, an ode to Gary Primich, a blues singer and harmonica master who left us too soon. Gary has not yet gotten the recognition he deserves, but that is changing thanks to this album which is a is righteous endeavor that is very well done. In fact, it is so well-regarded that it has been named the best self-produced CD of 2013 by The Blues Foundation International Blues Challenge!
Gary Primich was a Chicago native who moved to Austin where he made a name for himself with his blues harp and his voice. Over the course of his career he played with a lot of great groups, cut nine of his own records, and produced a very good instructional CD on how to play the harmonica. Primich passed away in 2007, just short of his 50th birthday, but not before he had the chance to touch Hank Mowery’s life. Hank ran the Rhythm Kitchen Café in Peoria, Illinois where his band, The Hawktones, played, and Gary was one of the acts that was invited to join the action on stage.
Hank Mowery is no slouch on the harmonica either, and it was natural that he would be the one to record this album, especially as he had the blessing and participation of Gary’s father, JV Primich, the executive producer of Account to Me. Hank took care of the harp and vocals on this project, and was joined by Patrick Recob on bass (Primich’s bassist, by the way), Troy Amaro on guitar, Chris Corey on the keys and John Large behind the drum kit. This disc includes five songs that were written by Primich, and two of them had not been previously released.
“Spend a Little Time” is the first track up, and it is an original that was penned by Mowery and Recob. This is fast-paced rocker with a hammering piano line and a heavily distorted organ that takes the place of the guitar. Mowery proves himself right away with his throaty voice and wailing harp. One thing to note is that he chose to record this project at Grand Rapids’ Goon Lagoon Studios in an analog format (instead of digitally), giving this album a rich vintage tone.
The next song up is the title track, a previously-unreleased Primich number that JV brought to the studio. “Account to Me” is a lovely ballad that features Amaro’s tremolo-soaked guitar with a sparse backline and Recob on the acoustic guitar. As this is a plaintive story of love and honesty it is all about the words and vocals, and the harmonica’s interplay with the guitar is just the icing on the cake. This is followed up by “Put the Hammer Down,” a snappy rockabilly song that Gary wrote about life on the road and his desire to get back home again.
Junior Valentine contributed his guitar talent on three of the songs that were written by Primich including “My Home,” which is one of the standout tracks on Account to Me. This shuffle is what the blues are all about, and this will be heard in both the melody and the lyrics. The extra guitar gives this a real barroom feel, and Mowery is at his best behind the microphone. You just cannot beat lines like: “Our bedroom looks like it’s been through a war since you made tracks and walked out that door.”
The two covers on Account to Me are both the kind of songs that Gary loved and made his mark with. Memphis Slim and Matt Murphy’s “Banana Oil” is a groovy Latin-influenced instrumental with a generous dose of Hammond B3 from Corey and plenty of edgy harp from Mowery, and at only 2 ½ minutes it leaves the listener wanting more! The other re-do is Reverend Robert Wilkins’ “That’s no Way to Get Along,” and guest artist Jimmie Stagger’s voice and National guitar join Mowery’s harmonica for this hill-country blues track. This bare-bones acoustic piece provides a marked change of pace and vibe, and is a wonderful way to bring the album to a close.
It should be pointed out that if you buy this CD it includes a terrific booklet of liner notes that were put together by Mowery’s friend Tad Robinson, who is also a fabulous vocalist and harmonica player. It contains a nice write-up of Primich’s harp style, and detailed notes about each song on the disc. This added bonus is something that used to be commonplace, but sadly has become quite rare in recent years.
Account to Me is a nice piece of work, and goes beyond the scope of most tribute albums as half of its content is made up of originals and covers that also celebrate the subject artist. Any musician would be overjoyed to have such a well thought out and produced album as their legacy. If you love the blues, rock and roll or rockabilly, Hank Mowery and his friends deliver the goods, and you should give this CD a listen.

Reviewer Rex Bartholomew is a Los Angeles-based writer and musician; his blog can be found at http://rexbass.blogspot.com. - Rex Bartholomew

"In A Blue Mood"

At first glance, Hank Mowery’s new recording Account To Me (Old Pal) might seem like a tribute to the late Gary Primich. The recording after all includes 5 songs written by Primich (2 of which were never previously recorded) and was produced with members of Primich’s family. Tad Robinson, himself a singer, songwriter and harmonica player like Primich and Mowery, calls it more of a collaboration between Mowery and Primich’s family. Adding to the collaborative character of this recording is the presence of bassist Patrick Recob from Primich’s band. Others on this include guitarist Troy Amaro, Chris Corey on keyboards, and John Large on drums and percussion. Jimmie Stager plays National steel guitar and sings on one track and Junior Valentine adds 2nd guitar to 3 selections.

Mowery certainly establishes himself with this recording as a singer, harmonica writer and songwriter with his rocking original Spend a Little Time, that kicks off this CD. Besides his strong, natural vocal and harp playing, Corey shines on piano and the Wurlitzer piano here. Account For Me is a previously unrecorded song that Primich penned and this soulful ballad has a bit of swamp pop feel. In addition to his heartfelt vocal he adds some very nice harp with Amaro taking a short solo full of bite. The rendition of Primich’s Put The Hammer Down is a nice cover of Primich’s original with tight, understated ensemble playing (with a neat repeated guitar figure) and is followed by a strong original slow blues from Mowery If I Knew What I Know which opens with him blasting on the harp.

Memphis Slim and Matt Murphy’s Banana Oil is a nice latin-flavored instrumental with jazz flavoring that allows Corey (on organ), Amara and Mowery to shine during their sharply focused solos. Tricky Game sports a understated New Orleans groove that contrasts with the solid shuffle My Home, with the lyrics lamenting the absence of his woman’s love. In addition to the splendid playing by all, Mowery stands out with his relaxed, natural vocals. Bassist Recob ably handles the vocal on his original, Target, built on a blues vamp that goes back at least to Little Willie John. Amaro stands out with his solo as well as his tone as part of the atmospheric backing here. Mowery provides harp backing to Jimmie Stagger’s vocal and guitar on a nice cover of Robert Wilkins’ depression era recording, That’s No Way To Get Along, that closes “Account To Me.” The music on this may sound familiar as Wilkins, after he gave up blues, redid this song as The Prodigal Son, which was covered by the Rolling Stones.

As noted, Account To Me is both a tribute to Gary Primich and a collaboration with Primich’s family. Mowery is himself a strong blues voice that is showcased on a most entertaining recording. This writer looks forward to hearing more form Mowery in the future.

Ron Weinstock - Ron Weinstock


  • Live at The Rhythm Kitchen Cafe - The Hawktones & Jr Valentine & The Allstars- 1996
  • The Triumphant Return of Slim Jim - Jimmie Stagger - 1998
  • In The Open Live at The Howmet Playhouse - The Hawktones - 2012
  • Account To Me - Hank Mowery - 2013
  • Excuses Plenty - Hank Mowery - 2015 (To Be Released)



Hank Mowery raced onto the local and regional blues scene in the Mid 90's his band The Hawktones. As General Manager of The Rhythm Kitchen Cafe, Mowery honed his skills jamming nightly with the local and national blues acts that happened through The Kitchen. During this time Mowery had the opportunity to share the stage with true legends of the blues such as Pinetop Perkins, Gary Primich, William Clarke, Little Charlie & The Nightcats, Anson Funderburg, Mark Hummel, Rusty Zinn & many more.

    In 1996 & 1998 Mowery had the opportunity to tour briefly with Blacktop recording artist Mike Morgan & The Crawl filling in for their  ailing front man. Mike Morgan comments "I was amazed that Hank could step in on a national level like he did, He is a cool harmonica player and singer with an old school feel, like Little Walter and Big Walter Horton...the cool stuff. Two minutes in our first show we knew he wasn't a replacement, he was part of the band."

     Over the years Mowery has had the pleasure of playing with Doug Deming, Dennis Gruenling, Greg Fingers Taylor, Little Frank & The Premiers, George Bedard, Steve Nardella, Rusty Zinn, Ronnie James Webber, Mark Hummel, Bill Lupkin, Joe Filisko, Jim Liban, Nick Moss and the legendary Gary Primich.

     With the release of his new CD ACCOUNT TO ME on Old Pal Records (Winner of the prestigious Best Self Produced CD of 2014), Mowery leaps onto the international scene and is causing a buzz around the blues community.  The fresh sound of the recording, different textures in the music and strong musicianship are causing people to stop and take note of this formidable blues/roots outfit. With a follow up CD taking shape in the studio you can bet you will be hearing about Hank Mowery for a long time to come.

This band weaves together a show laced with old school sensibilities and modern day energy. Chicago Standards, Texas Shuffles or West Coast Swing, you will know it is Hank Mowery and you will like what you hear.

Band Members