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Lil' Ed and The Blues Imperials - Full Tilt

Full Tilt

Lil' Ed and The Blues Imperials

Alligator Records - AL4926

Available from Alligator Records.

A review written for the Folk and Acoustic Music Exchange
by Bob Gottlieb

Fourteen songs and just under an hour of Lil' Ed and his cohorts. Lil Ed Williams takes full advantage of all the songs and time to display some of his strongest singing to date, as well as his most in your face smoking slide guitar. It is apparent that this band has been together for a full 20 years; guitarist Mike Garrett, bassist James "Pookie" Young (half brother to Lil' Ed), and drummer Kelly Littleton comprise the Blues Imperials that play behind Ed Williams. They constitute one of those high-energy acts, a they are a full tilt, dead ahead blues band, that somehow manages to transpose a lot of their live act power to their discs. Whether it is the full speed ahead guitar boogie to the slowest low down dirty blues you can imagine, there is an authentic, joyous, feel to their playing. There is no hold back for next time, it is all let out, whether on the band stand or in the studio. This is the raucous blues that can trace its lineage to some of the royalty of the Chicago Blues scene, Lil' Ed's uncle and musical teacher and guide is J.B. Hutto. You can call the form of blues as played by this band, feral, untamed, undomesticated, or maybe uncultivated, but what ever you call it, it is going to make you rise up and move until the sweat runs rampant. His blues is the ferocious, lupine, savage sound that rises up from within, that knows no master but is only controlled when allowed to raise its head unfettered from time to time. One of the best discs in the blues field that reminds us of its beginnings and its roots; blues as it should be played not the tame drivel that sometimes passes.

Track List:

  • Hold That Train (Ed Williams, Eyeball Music, BMI)
  • Housekeeping Job (Ed Williams, Eyeball Music, BMI)
  • Don't Call Me (Ed & Pam Williams, Eyeball Music, BMI)
  • Check My Baby's Oil (Ed Williams, Eyeball Music, BMI)
  • First I Look At The Purse (William Robinson & Robert Rogers, Jobete Music Co. c/o EMI Music Publ., ASCAP)
  • Love Don't Live Here Anymore (Ed & Pam Williams, Eyeball Music, BMI)
  • Life Got In The Way (Ed & Pam Williams, Eyeball Music, BMI)
  • Candy Sweet (Ed & Pam Williams, Eyeball Music, BMI)
  • Woman, Take A Bow (Ed & Pam Williams, Eyeball Music, BMI)
  • My Baby Moves Me (Ed Williams, Eyeball Music, BMI)
  • Dying To Live (Ed Williams, Eyeball Music, BMI)
  • Open Invitation (Ed & Pam Williams, Eyeball Music, BMI)
  • Every Man Needs A Good Woman (James Young, Eyeball Music, BMI)
  • Take Five (Hound Dog Taylor, Publisher Unknown. Additional lyrics by Ed Williams, Eyeball Music, BMI)

Edited by: David N. Pyles

Copyright 2008, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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