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Lil' Ed & The Blues Imperials

Lil' Ed & the Blues Imperials were among the premiere party bands to come out of Chicago during the '70s and '80s. Often compared to Elmore James and Hound Dog Taylor, fiery, flamboyant slide guitarist Lil' Ed Williams and his group have continued to play dedicated, rough-edged, and hard-rocking dance music, establishing an international reputation that has lasted into the new millennium. A native of Chicago, Williams was first inspired by his uncle, renowned slide guitarist J.B. Hutto, with whom he studied as a young teen. Hutto not only taught him slide, but also introduced Williams to bass and drums. Williams' half-brother, James "Pookie" Young, was also a student of Hutto, and later became the bassist for the Blues Imperials. The brothers co-founded their group in the early '70s and went professional in 1975, playing at Big Duke's Blue Flame on the West Side. The gig earned them a whopping six bucks, which the group members split evenly. In those early years, Williams worked days at a car wash while Young drove a school bus.

Despite their humble start, Williams and the Blues Imperials kept performing at night and by the early '80s had developed a substantial regional following. Signing to Alligator in the mid-'80s, they released their debut album, Roughhousin', in 1986 and found themselves receiving national attention. They began playing urban clubs and festivals all over the country and eventually toured Canada, Europe, and Japan. They released their second album, Chicken, Gravy & Biscuits, in 1989, and the success continued as the Blues Imperials began appearing with such artists as Koko Taylor and Elvin Bishop during the Alligator Records 20th anniversary tour. They released their third album, What You See Is What You Get, in 1992.

If Ed, Pookie, and the latest members of the revamped Blues Imperials never did much to modernize their blues or develop a new sound, that was just fine with the band's followers ("Edheads," no less), to whom the raucous, rocking slide guitar heritage of Hutto, Hound Dog Taylor, and Elmore James is blues nirvana. Following its third album, the group went on hiatus for a few years, during which Lil' Ed Williams released two albums on Earwig, 1996's Keep on Walkin' with Dave Weld and 1998's Who's Been Talking with Willie Kent. In 1999 the band reconvened and released Get Wild. They followed it up with Heads Up, their fifth Alligator record, in 2002. Their sixth, Rattleshake, appeared in 2006, followed by their seventh, Full Tilt, two years later. ~ Jim O'Neal & Sandra Brennan
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Jump Start

1. If You Were Mine

2. Musical Mechanical Electrical Man

3. Kick Me To The Curb

4. You Burnt Me

5. House Of Cards

6. Born Loser

7. Jump Right In

8. Life Is A Journey

9. World Of Love

10. Weatherman

11. If You Change Your Mind

12. No Fast Food

13. My Chains Are Gone

14. Moratorium On Hate

x

Track List: Full Tilt

1. Hold That Train

2. Housekeeping Job

3. Don't Call Me

4. Check My Baby's Oil

5. First I Look At The Purse

6. Love Don't Live Here Anymore

7. Life Got In The Way

8. Candy Sweet

9. Woman, Take A Bow

10. My Baby Moves Me

11. Dying To Live

12. Open Invitation

13. Every Man Needs A Good Woman

14. Take Five

x

Track List: Rattleshake

1. Leaving Here

2. Tired Of Crying

3. Golden Rule

4. You Just Weren't There

5. Icicles In My Meatloaf

6. Broken Promises

7. Tramp On Your Street

8. Maybe Another Time

9. Spend Some Time With Me

10. Nobody's Fault But My Own

11. You Know You're Wrong

12. That's The Truth

13. It's A Beautiful World

x

Track List: Heads Up!

1. Woman In The Castle

2. Never Miss Your Water

3. Natural Man

4. The Creeper

5. My Mind Is Gone

6. Four Leaf Clover

7. Lil' Ed's Home Cookin'

8. Black Night

9. Empty House Tour

10. Computer Girl

11. Ed Heads' Boogie

12. I Still Love You

13. I Love My Baby

x

Track List: Get Wild!

1. Singing Slide

2. You Got To Stop

3. Standing On The Corner

4. To Late

5. Compact Man

6. She Don't Love Me

7. Nothing I Woudn't Do

8. Change My Way Of Living

9. Independent Superwoman

10. The Monkey And The Rabit

11. The Cannonball

12. Once In A Lifetime

13. Get Out

14. Pet Cream Man

x

Track List: ...What You See Is What You Get

1. Life Is Like Gambling

2. Find My Baby

3. Older Woman

4. Please Help

5. Toothache

6. Living For Today

7. Travellin' Life

8. Out Of The House

9. Upset Man

10. Long, Long Way From Home

11. What You See Is What You Get

12. Bluesmobile

13. What Am I Gonna Do

14. Packin' Up

x

Track List: Chicken, Gravy And Biscuits

1. Chicken, Gravy, And Biscuits

2. Master Charge

3. S.D. Jones

4. Walkin'

5. Blues For Jeanette

6. Got To Be Wise

7. Can't Let These Blues Go

8. 20% Alcohol

9. Face Like A Fish

10. Got My Mind Made Up

11. Blues Imperials Theme

x

Track List: Roughhousin'

1. Old Oak Tree

2. Midnight Rider

4. She's Fine, She's Mine

3. You Done Me Wrong For The Last Time

6. Pride And Joy

5. Everything I Do Brings Me Closer To The Blues

7. You Don't Exist Any More

8. Mean Old Frisco

9. Car Wash Blues

10. Walking The Dog

Comments

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The coolest
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nprobe
Saw them live last night in Cleveland - outstanding show !
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savagewill58
I've never seen these blues masters but I'll tell u what if u don't Tryn catch em live or blow your chance to your a sorry fool w a hole in your soul.....
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rickheel
One of the best shows you could ever see. The man is an entertainer.
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The real deal !!!
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Great stuff!
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Fantastic live band! Get out & see them. You will gave a great time.
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bets party band around!!! Give me a chicken, gravy and biscuit anytime!!
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Nice
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Sweet as it gets
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Yea
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This outfit tears it up see'm if you can have never disappointed ! No lie!!
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I had the honor to meet the man and introduce him to my children. Very proud moment for me!!
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where will they be next? the shack in florida would be great
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love this
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Saw them a few months ago. Fantastic
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saw them in Chicago and they had the place rocking Ed was dancing on the bar while playing his guitar. Worth driving to see
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Saw them at Pensacola beach in apr 2014. Just checked in to the Paradise Inn and couldn't believe there was Blues in a beach shack. Wow. Unforgettabl e ! Don't know if anyone appreciated what they were really hearing.
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dougieyellow j a c k e t
Their s**t is hot!!!
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wow :) aint got no words that can express this sound
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Love this song makes me wanna dance lol Woooohoooo where da girls lol lmao
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boywonder194 9
So enjoyable so much blues so enjoyable.
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FOR A GOOD OLD BOY LIKE ME THIS GUYS. NO WHAT MUSIC IS ALL ABOUT .JUST A HAND FULL OF GUYS ARE THIS GREAT

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HoooHaaa! Feets Wont Stop... !
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This is what happens when you hear the blues for the first time, pick up a guitar and don't look back
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hotbutteredg e r g
I can head SRV in this guitar, or more these guys in SRV's playing. Great blues!
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jeremyjerspa m e r
dont read this because it actually works. You will get kissed on the nearest possible friday by the love of your life. tommorrow will be the best day of your life. however if you do not post this comment to at least 3 songs you will die in 2 days. now youve started reading this so dont stop. this is so scary put this on at least 5 songs in at least 143 minutes when if done press f6 and your lovers name will appear on the screen in big letters this is scary cuz it actually works
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more, more.more, love it.
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Glad to be an EdHead -incendiary slide at its best!
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This is RAW BLUES and he sings it BEST! His every word and note is
incredible and swift as a shooting star! hay boy you got it real GOOD!
I love ya babe! take that to the bank!
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mrschaffins
fun!
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kvons1
Nobody's Fault But My Own-----can' t touch this one.
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I am now glad to be included as a Ed Head
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noodo

Oh yeah!!! This is one cool dude.







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You can't get blues better than this on Pandora
Been a fan since late 80's
Report as inappropriate
boogiespeed
saw'em at Pauley's Hotel, Albany NY's oldest bar...
(and it's an OLD town..) back in 95 or '96.

Whoa daddy. Allas woith the price of admission!

Play da Blues!
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Been an ed head since the begining. even got to see them here in grand junction Colorado a few years back what a treat being an ex Chicago boy
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no flash, no mess, just the real deal........ . * s i g h s with joy*
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This outfit is what I call straight-up- a h e a d no-chaser thrown right at you style of blues. Two thumbs up and even my big toe.
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Pretty smokin' playing. Got to check these guys out in-depth.
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These guys played the Trinidaddio Blues Festival in Trinidad, Colorado this year. Blew us all away! Great live presence!
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my son took me to a little dive of a blues club on halsted these guys were fantastic cant get enough
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I remember this band from the 80's playing the bars in Madison. Loved them! Very good at engaging the audience. Good to hear them again!
Report as inappropriate
luv this band- straight up blues - best is " walk the dog "
thanxs

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