The big sound comes directly from Hound Dog Taylor and Uncle J.B. Hutto, the two bestknown exponents of this slide driven Chicago Blues. Lil’ Ed and The Blues Imperials have taken the sound, made it their own, winning multiple awards, playing around the world, done network television and continuing to delight festival goers everywhere. In short, they’ve taken that sound to places never even dreamed of by Hound Dog or Uncle J.B. And they have a new album with twelve new songs plus two by Uncle J.B. Lil’ Ed Williams has worked with this band for many years: Mike Garrett on rhythm & lead guitars, Ed’s half-brother James ‘Pookie’ Young on bass & Kelly Littleton on drums. Sumito “Ariyo” Ariyoshi adds keyboards for the album. The big sound kicks right in with ”Giving Up On Your Love”, “Raining In Paris” opens with that trademark slide & some nice key changes and “Poor Man’s Song” for the opening trio of rockers. These are perfectly in line with the sound his fans have come to expect but “Poor Man’s Blues” might give them pause for thought as Lil’ Ed sings of the friends and family that seem to have other things to do now that he has no money. What the band has done with ‘the big sound’ becomes more apparent when they tackle Uncle J.B.’s “Shy Voice” (from Slidewinder). It sounds more traditional but Lil’ Ed’s slide is searing & wonderful. Elmore James lives on in “Whiskey Flavored Tears”. Amidst all the rockers, Lil’ Ed usually finds room for a slow blues or two and “I’ll Cry Tomorrow” doesn’t disappoint. It’s the other one by Uncle J.B. (this one’s on Hawk Squat) and Pookie’s bass work demands notice. “Is It You?” has a rhumba beat that you’ll love and if “I Like My Hot Sauce Cold (and my BBQ warm)” doesn’t get you moving nothing will. “Troubled World” is more ambitious lyrically, with family breakdown, poverty and ‘governments struggling’ all possibly leading to the end of the world, ‘like the good book say’. That song aside, I can’t imagine any of his fans (Ed Heads) not enjoying any of these songs. See them live whenever you can and get this disc when it comes out on September 23rd. Until then go to www.alligator.com and read all about it.

Loose Blues News - September 2016
John's Blues Picks Sept 2016 - Ronnie Earl and the Broadcasters