Lil’ Ed And The Blues Imperials review…November 19, 2016…

LIL’ ED AND THE BLUES IMPERIALS

THE BIG SOUND OF LIL’ ED AND THE BLUES IMPERIALS

ALLIGATOR RECORDS

GIVING UP ON YOUR LOVE–RAINING IN PARIS–POOR MAN’S SONG–SHY VOICE–BLACK DIAMOND LOVE–WHISKEY FLAVORED TEARS–I’LL CRY TOMORROW–IS IT YOU?–I’M DONE–DEEP IN MY SOUL–I WANT IT ALL–I LIKE MY HOT SAUCE COLD

The date was Friday, June 17, 1994, and Lil’ Ed And The Blues Imperials played in Nashville at the (sadly) now-defunct Boardwalk Cafe in South Nashville.  We’d taken off work ’bout a half-hour early to get front-row seats for this fine band out of Chicago.  The date is notable as that is the night that OJ Simpson led police on the now-famous “Bronco chase,” which was on every TV in the bar.  But, good blues won out, and Ed and the fellows really rocked the joint that night.

Now, twenty-two years further on up the road, they are still houserockin’ everywhere they go.  Their latest album, “Thh Big Sound Of Lil’ Ed And The Blues Imperials,” carries on the rough-and-rowdy good-time blues tradition that Ed learned from his uncle, Chicago legend and slide master J. B. Hutto.

Ed really has some fun on this set, and listeners will, too.  “Raining In Paris” and “I Like My Hot Sauce Cold” are as “scrump-dilly-icious” as ever, while he can break down a minor-key slow-blues with the best of ’em.  Check out the tale of a love gone wrong that is “I’ll Cry Tomorrow,” while he comes to grips with “a hard time tryin’ to make it on my own” in “The Poor Man’s Song.”

We had two favorites, too.  Ed’s the man who spent the night “drinkin’ and cryin,” and now wakes up with “Whiskey Flavored Tears on my pillow.”  This one rocks hard throughout.  And, at the other end of the spectrum, Ed takes a hard look at the direction in which this country seems to be heading with the somber story of “the economy going down,” amid a struggling society, aptly-titled “Troubled World.”

Alligator Records has been bringing us the best in genuine houserockin’ music for the last 45 years.  That credo is front and center with one of their finest bands, Lil’ Ed And The Blues Imperials, and their “Big Sound!”    Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

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