Strand Theatre to present ‘A Life in Blues’ documentary, live performance

Published 8:13 am Wednesday, June 19, 2024

The Strand Theatre will present the documentary “A Life in Blues” Wednesday followed by a live performance by the film’s focus James “Super Chikan” Johnson.

According to an official preview for the documentary, “A Life in Blues” both celebrates and explores the personal and musical life of one of Mississippi’s most treasured sons. Having traveled the world sharing his own unique brand of blues, James ‘Super Chikan’ Johnson, at the age of 72, still strives to balance a musical career while providing for his family. This film lays bare Chikan’s own story, but also examines how the culture and setting of his hometown and state have ultimately influenced his journey.”

In 2018, “A Life in Blues” co-director Mark Rankin took Johnson to Vancouver to do a series of shows. Those shows quickly sold out, and with Rankin and his band, “The Mojo Stars,” backing Chikan up, he quickly got to know the man and his music, according to the information from FilmFreeway. After a quick chat with his filmmaking partner and co-director Brian Wilson, it was soon decided that Chikan’s life, music, and history warranted a documentary.

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“Wilson and Rankin embarked on numerous trips to Chikan’s hometown of Clarksdale, where they conducted extensive interviews with Chikan and a host of his musical contemporaries. What emerged was footage that was steeped in beautiful music and fascinating history.”

Johnson will take the stage following the documentary, which has a runtime of 1:19.

Admission and popcorn for Wednesday’s event are free of charge; however, donations to The Strand are welcome, organizers said.

The Strand Theatre is located at 717 Clay Street in Vicksburg.