Chicago/The Blues/Today! (Digital Album)
In 1965, musician, author, historian and producer Samuel Charters enlisted nine of the Midwest’s best blues artists to record a short set each for a Vanguard Records sampler, showcasing the electric sound of Chicago Blues. The distinct style, known for its use of electric guitars, amplified harmonicas, a rhythm section and often a piano, was exemplified by artists like Junior Wells, Buddy Guy, Willie Dixon, Jonny Young, Otis Spann and Big Walter Horton—all of whom appear on the compilation.
Released in 1966, the groundbreaking Chicago/The Blues/Today! trilogy introduced countless listeners to the blues—helping to popularize the genre in the US, the UK and beyond. These recordings also influenced a host of up-and-coming rock artists, including The Animals, Eric Clapton and The Yardbirds, The Rolling Stones and, later, The Allman Brothers Band. As AllMusic notes, “It’s fair to assume that most blues-influenced artists had all three volumes in their respective collections, and the songs on them ended up in the repertoires of everyone from Jimi Hendrix…to Led Zeppelin…to Steppenwolf.”