Lil' Ed & the Blues Imperials
Alligator - 4909
A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
There are a lot of adjectives you could call Lil' Ed & the Blues Imperials, but shy and retiring are definitely not two of those that would fit. Put his new disc in the player and be prepared, you and the whole house are going to be rocking, that is a sure bet. Lil' Ed learned to play slide guitar from his uncle J.B. Hutto, one of the hottest slide guitarists in Chicago, in truth J.B. taught both Ed and the band's bassist and Ed's half brother, James "Pookie" Young, to play bass also, so the family blood lines are a deep root. Lil' Ed & the Blues Imperials have established a reputation around the world as one of the best, most raucous, dance/party band around. If you can listen to this band without moving you are either made of stone, or not of the living world. This incarnation of the band has stayed steady from his last disc, "Heads Up," with "Pookie" holding down the bass and background vocals, Michael Garrett on guitar and background vocals and Kelly Littleton on drums, just adding Johnny Iguana on piano and organ for a little bigger sound. If you like to dance, or just listen to an extremely talented and raw slide guitarist this is a disc you should not miss. The Lil' in Ed's name is in reference to his height only, because his sound is so big it is hard to contain. This is someone who, as good as their discs are, in person they will blow you away with the power and dimension of their sound. This is one smoking band that is led by the feral and rambunctious slide guitar playing and singing of Lil' Ed Williams.
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