I love the atmospheric picture on the cover so much I might pay extra for it, but all 13 tracks from this volume (Vol. 3) are included on a single disc of the boxed set, and similarly with vols 1 and 2. Since all three volumes are great, the boxed set is the better buy. I guess the spendthrift who buys the three volumes singly avoids the unpleasantness of having the plastic tray come apart, as it always does.
Considered as an individual purchase, the disc is just as distinguished as the first two, if the names aren't quite as well known. The star is Big Walter Horton, who features in all three of the groups on the disc. Big Walter is distinguished from 'Little Walter' Jacobs who wrote, sang and played harp with Muddy Waters and others. Big Walter's recorded 'oeuvre' is not as easy to find, but he is one of the greats. If you ever listen to Paul Butterfield you will hear lots of echoes of Big Walter's delectably dry tone. Harpist Charlie Musselwhite, who appears on one track, is a white player who recorded with John Hammond Jr. and Bonnie Raitt among others, as well as under his own name.
The three bands represented here overlap quite a bit in personnel, so you don't get as varied a cast as with vol. 1 or 2. On the other hand, this disc is the only one of the three connecting the dots of Chicago blues and Delta blues, via Shines's Robert Johnson-ish Dynaflow Blues. Typically drummerless, Delta blues departs from the 12 bar format by frequently throwing in an extra measure or half-measure as a turnaround; here, the drummer has to try to keep something like a steady beat going against the irregular structure. Interesting. In sum, not as many big names here but perhaps the purest example of the Chicago blues genre.