Some albums just belong in your collection because they help define a genre of music in a way that has to be experienced. I remember purchasing this at the Chicago Jazz Record Mart when I cast a shadow over the Windy City.
Junior Wells’ Hoodoo Man Blues set the stage for a 40 year stage career until his tragic demise in the 1990s; the man with the harp delivers some sharp licks on this recording and one can never experience enough Otis Spann who was arguably, Chicago’s best post-war blues pianist.
Featuring Chicago blues at its finest, the all-analog 180-gram vinyl LP features recordings by Junior Wells, J. B. Hutto, and Otis Spann, captured at the height of their musical prowess
Craft Recordings proudly announces an audiophile-quality 180-gram vinyl reissue of Chicago/The Blues/Today! Vol. 1, the first installment of the seminal 1966 blues trilogy. Featuring recordings by some of the era’s most exciting artists—including Junior Wells, J. B. Hutto, and Otis Spann, this disc (and the following two volumes) would have a far-reaching influence on modern music.
Set for release on June 17, 2022 and available for pre-order today ($29.98 at Amazon), this special reissue leaves no detail untouched. Pressed at France’s MPO, the LP features all-analog mastering from the original stereo tapes by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio and is presented in a tip-on jacket, showcasing the album’s iconic, original artwork.
An exclusive Mid-Century Olive color pressing is also available via CraftRecordings.com (limited to 300 worldwide), alongside official Vanguard Records merchandise.
This breakout pressing follows Craft’s 2021 Record Store Day-exclusive box set release of the complete trilogy, which debuted the freshly remastered audio and was described by Classic Rock magazine as an “exquisite vinyl upgrade for a crucial collection.”
Meanwhile, Part-Time Audiophile proclaimed, “A day spent enjoying Chicago/The Blues/Today! will re-alter your DNA, recharge your heart and soul, keep your butt dancing and your senses filled, swinging to its electric, bluesy brew.”
And The Vinyl District noted “…this set exemplifies the sound of the Chicago blues in the 1960s. It still delivers an astonishing kick.”
While the style of Chicago blues—distinguished by the use of electrified guitars, amplified harmonicas, a high-energy rhythm section, and the occasional dose of distortion—emerged in the years following WWII, its origins began decades earlier, when Delta blues musicians left the segregated South for cities across the Midwest.
In Chicago’s South Side, legendary bluesmen like Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Little Walter, Big Bill Broonzy, and Willie Dixon pioneered the thrilling new sound. By the early ’60s, a new generation of artists, including Junior Wells, Otis Rush, and Buddy Guy, were at the forefront of its evolution.
Where to buy: $29.98 at Amazon (Available June 17, 2022)