It's time to get back to some new CDs once again, and this is the latest from Lil' Ed and the Blues Imperials, titled "Jump Start" (Alligator).
The Imperials are a bit of an increasing rarity these days -- a real, honest to goodness Chicago blues band, still working together after about a quarter of a century. Ed Williams is a tough slide player in the mold of his uncle, J.B. Hutto, and the Imperials make music that's straight out of old-school blues.
This latest album features 13 fine songs crafted by Ed, or Ed and his wife, Pam. And there's a Hutto song, as usual, this one a tough version of "If You Change Your Mind."
The originals are full of feisty lyrics and feiry guitar, and range from the roar of the throbbing opening track, "If You Were Mine" to the the torchy sounds of "You Burnt Me" and "Life is a Journey."
"World of Love" reminds us that Ed can front a band with his vocals as well has guitar, and if anything, this album finds Ed stretching a little beyond his traditional roots. Nearly 25 years together means that Ed and the band fit their music like a glove, but also that they're comfortable enough in their talent to make this fine music seem effortless.
Ed's also been around enough that most of you have probably seen him perform. The fez, big eyes, red tennies and jump shots are hard to forget. But it's the music that matters, and Ed delivers.
Here's a video of "World of Love" followed by a video interview with Ed: