SummaryIn 1968, Chess Records' lesser known subsidiary Checker Records engaged in an interesting experiment. Perhaps inspired by similar blues supergroups such as Cream and Steampacket, or 1964's Two Great Guitars, which paired Bo Diddley recording alongside Chuck Berry, Checker brought together some of the best artists in their roster - Diddley, Muddy Waters, and Little Walter - to combine their talents into an album of hard-hitting, soulful Chicago Blues. The three bluesmen were brought together by legendary R&B producer Ralph Bass to record Super Blues, an informal jam session which featured a backing band of blues greats such as Buddy Guy on guitar, and Otis Spann on piano.
Critics remain divided over the merits of Super Blues as an album, but most agree it occupies a remarkable place in history both as an experiment and as a shape of things to come. Recorded at a time when electric blues' influence on the mainstream was at it's height, shades of Waters & Bo's future proto-funk experimentation can be heard throughout Super Blues' rough-at-the-seams, yet still loose and relaxed tracks. The main players sound as strong as ever, as impromptu vocals and humorous asides are tossed into off-kilter re-workings of classic tracks like Diddley's "I'm A Man", Waters' "I Just Want To Make Love To You", and Walter's "My Babe". A truly unique release to come from the ranks of Chess, Super Blues is a rare glimpse at three blues powerhouses from within the studio itself.