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.

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