I travel to the Mississippi Delta several times each year. If you’ve never hit up the “Delta” it’s in the northwest corner of Mississippi, tucked between the Mississippi and Yazoo Rivers. This area is a wonderful mix of culture, food and music. For example, one morning my breakfast was at Rest Haven in Clarksdale, MS.
I describe Rest Haven as,
Breakfast at a small town restaurant or diner is hard to beat. This is the kind of place that you fill your own coffee cup when it’s empty and the creamer is passed from table to table.
There’s the group of regulars that start each day there with fresh coffee, cream and sugar only, there’s no Cafe Latte’ or Mocha anything. Their conversations are as honest as it gets, from politics to college football these guys don’t candy coat anything.
Rest Haven is a Lebanese restaurant, offering cabbage rolls and grape leaves and if I’m ever there for lunch I’ll try them, but at 7:00 AM, I’m more of a bacon and eggs person.
Now the “Delta” is primarily known for its music, and this is where Super Chikan comes in. If you’re not familiar with Super Chikan he was recently on a segment of Ozzy and Jack’s World Detour, and yes, Ozzy has subtitles. “The Devil Made Me Do It” is the episode and it begins at Sun Studios with them listening to Ozzy’s 1970 recording of Blue Suede Shoes. Before long the pair heads south to Clarksdale, MS in search of the Devil’s Crossroads, the place where legend has it that Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil in exchange for the ability to play the blues. Just watch the hilarity as these two travel south to Clarksdale.
Earlier this week I had a dinner meeting in Clarksdale and this meeting consisted of fried catfish, hush puppies, deer meat (they don’t serve venison in MS), a dozen good friends and a private concert put on by Super Chikan.
Getting out of my rental I could smell the food and hear the music long before I saw any of my friends, it was going to be a great evening.
Just a quick clip, but if you want more you can listen to Super Chikan on Pandora.
There’s a bit more to this story. There has to be, anyone named Super Chikan can’t be one-dimensional. He’s an amazing artist as he creates all the guitars he plays and you just know there’s a story that goes with each one of his creations.
In the video above, he’s playing the very first guitar he ever built….. and here’s the story. Years ago a wife or girlfriend, let us just say a woman, broke his guitar over his back and all that remained was the neck of the guitar. Super Chikan told me that he grabbed an empty cigar box, a few “guitar parts” reattached the neck and he was back in business.
In the picture above the guitar’s body is made from a ceiling fan housing, yes a ceiling fan housing. Once again, a wife or girlfriend, let us just say a woman (notice a pattern) and Super Chikan were having, what we call adult relations, and somehow the ceiling fan came crashing to the floor. Super Chikan grabbed that fan and proclaimed, “I can turn this into a guitar” and the rest is history. I really wanted to hear more about the fan crashing to the floor part, but that’s just me.
I admire people with a vision, and Super Chikan has it. Can he not only see a Harley Davidson gas tank and have the vision to fashion it into a wonderful piece of art but that art then produces beautiful music.
This was a great three days, two flights, two hotels, three states, 700 miles driven and one great evening.
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