Join us for Thacker Mountain Radio Hour's Juke Joint Festival show! This Saturday, May 12th, at 7 p.m. on your MPB radio station.
Recorded at the New Roxy theater in Clarksdale, MS. Hosted by Jim Dees and our house band, the Yalobushwhackers.
Born James Louis Johnson in Darling, MS, James “Super Chikan” Johnson got his nickname from working with chickens on his family’s farms. They moved around the Mississippi Delta before settling in Clarksdale.
Writing songs during long hauls as a truck driver, he cut his debut album, Blues Come Home to Roost, in 1997 for the Rooster Blues label. Other CDs include Chikan Supe, Sum Mo Chikan and Chikadelic, which won the Blues Music Awards best traditional blues album of the year in 2010.
Chikan makes his own guitars (“Chiktars”) from auto mufflers, rifle butts and plumbing parts. He also makes cigar box guitars. He's a recipient of a Mississippi Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts.
Veteran harpist/vocalist Big George Brock was born in Grenada and spent his teenage years near Clarksdale before settling in St. Louis, Missouri, in the 1950s.
During his career he has shared the stage with legends such as Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf and Jimmy Reed. His CDs include Heavyweight Blues and Round Two (owing to Brock’s former occupation as a boxer), Alive at Seventy-Five and Club Caravan.
In St. Louis, Big George owned a series of blues clubs in the 1960s and '70s, including Club Caravan (formerly the Early Bird Lounge) – where his wife at the time was killed by stray bullets from a drunk’s pistol. He later owned the New Club Caravan.
Brock is known for his stylish onstage dress. From Living Blues (issue 78): “His tailored red or green outfits and classy fedora tell you he takes his gigs seriously. Brock sings in a straight-ahead style that packs a lot of power.”
Roger Stolle is an author, filmmaker, producer and blues promoter in Clarksdale. He moved to Clarksdale in 2002 to “organize and promote the blues from within.”
Stolle has produced three “comeback albums” for Big George Brock. He is a contributing editor at Delta Magazine and the author of Hidden History of Mississippi Blues (The History Press/Arcadia). Stolle is co-creator (with Jeff Konkel, Broke & Hungry Records) of the web series Moonshine & Mojo Hands. He also co-produced the films Hard Times, M for Mississippi and We Juke Up in Here.
Stolle is the owner/proprietor of the Cat Head Delta Blues & Folk Art store at 252 Delta Avenue in downtown Clarksdale.