From sweet and smooth classics, to new names, to old names with new music...the focus here, is to shine a little light on some damn fine music.

I'll find it. You can listen, review, or tell me I wouldn't know good music if it kicked me in the ass. I personally don't give a shit.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Play Guitar? What Else You Got?

So you play the guitar. Nice, I wish I could. Think you're pretty good...real nice, great to have that gift. Let me tell you something...ya got nuthin'.

Today, I've got a guy who plays guitar...some mean blues if you please. But he also takes it another step...he makes his guitars. uh huh.

Out of Mississippi, James "Super Chikan" Johnson, grew up on the delta. His first instrument was a piece of wood with baling wire wrapped around it, what is known as a "diddley bow." Growing up in a musical family, by his 20's he was playing bass around the south. Working as a truck driver, he found himself with a lot of time on his hands. That's when the songwriting began. His first album Blues Come Home to Roost, was released in 1997 and instantly garnered critical acclaim.

As his grandfather before him, Super Chikan began to fashion instruments out of discarded items. Old army gas cans and cigar boxes were made into guitars. Crazy stuff, check out some of them here. Soon his hand-made guitars were gaining as much interest as his music, even receiving an Artist Fellowship from the Mississippi Arts Commission.

But let's get into the music. Man, does he look like he's having fun...

Playing a diddley bow on "Sippiseekansas"
How about a ceiling fan on "Hookin' Up"
and closing out a show playing a Shotgun Guitar

For a short documentary on the man check out "Cluckin' and Pluckin'" and find out how he got his nickname and creates his one-of-a-kind guitars.

Some good blues to start the day, end it, or just to boogie in the middle of it.

"If your feet any tappin', baby you're dead."


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