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Super Chikan - Sum' Mo' Chikan

Sum' Mo' Chikan

Super Chikan

Chikan Howse Productions - CH 001
Vizztone Label Group

Available from Vizztone Record Group's web site.

A review written for the Folk and Acoustic Music Exchange
by Bob Gottlieb

James "Super Chikan" Johnson is based in the Clarkdale, Mississippi area and is related to bluesman Big Jack Johnson. He got the name "Chikan Boy" because he always took care of his family's chickens, and he went around talking to them. Just listen to his songs, there are twelve, and the assumption is he wrote them all (the liner notes list no writing credits), and yes many revolve around chikan, or barnyard imagery. This exceedingly inventive and singular guitar player/songwriter/producer is an artist first, before or with all those other appellations. He is one of the most original and inventive of artists playing today. You can hear his influences, such as Lightnin' Hopkins, Elmore James, and Slim Harpo, but he takes those and infuses his own originality and love of spontaneous fun to create this super-personality as Super Chikan, and his own brand Chikan Scratch Music (definitely not the same as that of the Southwestern Deserts).

He uses his artistic flair and off beat vision to make his own "chik-can-tars," guitars and Diddly Bows, which he makes from old gas cans, mufflers, and the like and then paints barnyard scenes on them, but he also can play the feathers off of store-bought guitars. This guitar player can come up with some of the most effective and authentic barnyard blues music around. He makes good use of the 'wah-wah' pedal and he is one of the most entertaining acts you will ever see, and one hell of a guitar player to boot. A definite must to see if he is anywhere near your yard, both for his originality of playing and his fun filled show.

Track List:

  • Freddy's Thang
  • Crystal Ball Eyes
  • Hookin' Up
  • Yard Boy Blues
  • Mexico City
  • November Nights
  • Full Moon Blues
  • Peter Truck
  • Crying About the Blues
  • Love Cruiser
  • Sippi' Seekan' Saw
  • Coochie Daddy

Edited by: David N. Pyles

Copyright 2008, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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