Blues Bytes


December 2008

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Super Chikan
Sum' Mo' Chikan

Super Chikan

All is right with the world once again. Super Chikan has blessed us with another wonderful recording of his unique vision of Mississippi Delta Blues. His Blues are done with a wink and a grin, and a good time is always guaranteed. He’s known worldwide as one of the most entertaining Blues performers. Now with the VizzTone Label Group, Super Chikan’s latest effort is entitled Sum’ Mo’ Chikan, and it features more of his special brand of Delta Blues.

Super Chikan’s real name is James Johnson and he’s the nephew of Big Jack Johnson, who served as one of his influences, along with Slim Harpo, Jimmy Reed, Lightnin’ Hopkins, and Elmore James. While you can hear traces of these other artists in Super Chikan’s music, he is very much his own man. Not only is he a highly original songwriter (and adapter of old songs), but he also plays some fierce guitar, many of which he makes himself (some of which you can see at his website, In fact, this disc features some of his best fretwork, as he opens up with a lightning-fast variation on “Hideaway,” called “Freddy’s Thang,” and also wails away on “Hookin’ Up,” a fantastic take-off on one of his uncle’s classic tunes (“Big Boy Now”) that ends up being a tribute to John Lee Hooker.

Super Chikan also serves up plenty of double entendre lyrics on tracks like the slow blues “Yard Boy Blues” and “Peter Truck.” “Love Cruiser” is not far behind, and neither is the clever closing track, “Coochie Daddy.” “November Nights” has more of a soul/blues groove, and shows that Super Chikan is as comfortable playing soul/blues as he is mixing the Delta with some deep funk (“Full Moon Blues” and “Crying About The Blues”). “Sippi Seekan’ Saw” shows off his slide guitar work.

The Fighting Cocks (Daddy Rich-bass, Jameisa “Pinky” Turner – drums, Laura “Lala” Craig – keyboards) are in fine form, laying down a funky bottom and never letting up. Sum’ Mo’ Chikan was recorded and mastered at Willie Mitchell’s Royal Studios in Memphis, so picture if you can the Mississippi Delta Blues mixed with a heaping helping of Memphis soul and that’s what you’ve got here.

It’s hard to go wrong with a Super Chikan release, and Sum’ Mo’ Chikan is no exception. In fact, it may be his best effort yet. This disc will put a hop in your step and a smile on your face.

--- Graham Clarke


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