Join us for the 2018 Juke Joint Festival in Clarksdale, MS! Friday, April 13 at 6 pm at the New Roxy Theatre (363 Issaquena Ave). Admission to the show is free. NOTE: The New Roxy is an open air space and audience members are encouraged to bring lawn chairs. A cash bar and food service will be available throughout the show.
Guests will include blues author Roger Stolle and blues musicians, Big George Brock and the New House Rockers and James “Super Chikan” Johnson.
Hosts: Jim Dees and our house band, the Yalobushwhackers.
This show will not be broadcast live but will be recorded, to air this spring on Mississippi Public Broadcasting.
Born James Louis Johnson in Darling, Mississippi, James “Super Chikan” Johnson got his nickname from working with chickens on his family’s farms, moving around the Mississippi Delta until they settled 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 was named the Best Traditional Blues Album of the Year in 2010. Chikan makes his own guitars (“Chiktars”) from auto mufflers, rifle butts, and plumbing parts as well as cigar box guitars. Johnson is 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. Stolle 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.