One of the cutest stories I’ve ever heard about any working musician pertains to singer/songwriter Harold “Happy” Chichester. At a 2002 solo performance in Columbus, Chichester — former frontman of Howlin’ Maggie, bassist for Royal Crescent Mob and auxiliary member of The Afghan Whigs and Twilight Singers — chronically kept referring to himself as “Hot Prick: The Specialist.” Playing with the band Flypaper at an outdoor festival later that year, Chichester sported sparkly red slingshot bottom pants that barely covered his areolas while performing, then immediately changed into a business suit (replete with a lamé thong) and attempted to sell insurance to every attendee at the after party.
One expects such silly behavior from the likes of musicians whose personalities are more bombastic than their musical acumen (read: Kanye). One might be tempted to think Chichester’s status as an area Rock legend might not be well deserved as a result of his antics.
If so, obviously you haven’t listened to him. Chichester’s regional dominance is supreme because he’s a fantastic human being and even better performer. He’s like a homegrown Ryan Adams with little more soul and a harmonica a la mode. His songs are rich with Midwest emotion, longing and ire, often set to swampy, bluesy guitar or piano.
During songs like “Silent Movie,” you can almost hear Chichester’s heart breaking under the weight of his words, the gravity of the lyrics amplified.
(Buy tickets, check out performance times and find nearby bars and restaurants here.)