Sam Charters went to Chicago in December 1965 armed with a few thousand dollars from Maynard Solomon, boss of Vanguard Records. His ambition was to record the musicians working in the blues clubs of South Side Chicago. Rather than record a whole LP with each band, Charters decided to record four or five songs per band in a standard union three hour session. The result created a huge impact when released as three LPs in 1966, and still retains its magic forty years later. In the studio, Charters captured the earthy, driving sounds of the blues bands of the Chicago scene. Men like Walter Horton and Johnny Shines could remember running with Robert Johnson back in the 1930s. Younger artists like Junior Wells and Buddy Guy were forging their own urban sound. The results, lovingly re-released as a three CD package, is a wonderful record of Chicago blues in the 1960s. In his fascinating accompanying essay, Charters writes that, at the time, he was frustrated not to be able to lure any of the giants of the Chicago blues scene, such as Muddy Waters, Little Walter, and Howling Wolf, into the studio; they were wary of breaking their recording contracts to Chess Records in their home town. But Charters shouldn't have worried. As he now recognises, he captured a wonderful spectrum of blues musicians. Some sounds as down home as Mississippi in the 1930s, enlivened by mandolin and slide guitar. Some of it sounds as up to the minute as recordings by The Rolling Stones and the Paul, Butterfield Blues Band released in that same year. It's great music, beautifully presented as a package.