Lil' Ed & the Blues Imperials

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Sometimes the bloodlines show up and at other times they explode with a fanfare that shows itself to the world. Lil' Ed Williams traces his heritage back to his uncle, one of the Chicago blues legends, slide guitar master J.B. Hutto. He was tutored by his uncle, and the West Side Chicago blues scene that nurtured him, and readily gives J.B. much of the credit for his prowess. He captures some of that same raw street energy that was his uncle's trademark on many of the tracks on this, his fifth Alligator release. Listen to "The Creeper" to get an idea of the savage fury that he can channel through his slide guitar work. This disc manifests that feel for the blues that can't be taught, but must be both lived and seen from the inside. His vocals have that same intuitive feel that is visible in his guitar playing. He has a grit and soul that put a real bite into his vocals. He wrote 11 of the 13 songs here, and there are a few that have the potential to become standards in the field. He is a throwback to the raucous raw sound of the early electric Chicago blues, and yet his songs and feel are every bit a part of today's world. He is strongly backed by his band, which is solidly anchored by his half-brother, Pookie, on the bass. This is a dose of your good-time party blues served up as raw as you can stand it with his stinging guitar and tumultuous vocals. Don't miss it.

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