Several Facebook friends, knowing my love of the blues, sent me links to a recent Huffington Post article about some of the men who have helped formulate and spread the word about blues music. Over the years I have had the pleasure and good fortune of seeing many great blues players in live performance. Among those listed and photographed in the article are three I have met, James “Super Chikan” Johnson, “Bilbo” Walker, and T-Model Ford, who passed away last year.
I saw Johnson several years ago at the annual Wheeling Heritage Festival and witnessing him play his homemade guitars prompted me to begin building cigar box guitars. Last June I took my grandson on a road trip and one of the places we visited was the legendary Clarksdale, MS juke joint, Red’s Lounge where Bilbo Walker was playing. In 2005 I was in Red’s and got to hear T-Model Ford play one number. At the end of the piece he left the floor and joined up with a group of young college girls who got to buying him whiskey and rubbing on his knee. I waited a couple of beers worth for him to pick up his old Peavy guitar but it wasn’t to be. The “Tail Dragger” had left the room!
If you like the blues, especially its roots, check out the photos in the HP’s article. Click HERE.
James “Super Chikan” Johnson on one of his simple homemade instruments.