Crazy Mama presents Lil' Ed and the Blues Imperials at The Hidden Gem Music Club

By The Hidden Gem Music Club (other events)

Friday, February 2 2024 7:00 PM 11:00 PM EDT

Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials take the stage at The Hidden Gem Music Club for a great evening of blues. From smoking slide guitar boogies to raw-boned Chicago shuffles to the deepest slow blues, guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Lil’ Ed Williams is an awe-inspiring master bluesman.  The band’s big sound, fueled by Lil’ Ed’s gloriously rollicking slide work and deep blues string bending, along with his rough-edged, soulful vocals, is as real and hard-hitting as Chicago blues gets. The Chicago Sun-Times says, “Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials are the hottest purveyors of bottleneck boogie to come out of Chicago since Hound Dog Taylor.”

Lil’ Ed Williams comes to the blues naturally. His uncle, Chicago slide guitar king and master songwriter J.B. Hutto, taught him how to feel, not just play the blues. Nine albums and thousands of performances later, Lil’ Ed is now universally hailed as a giant of the genre. Lil’ Ed and The Blues Imperials—bassist (and Ed’s half-brother) James “Pookie” Young, guitarist Mike Garrett and drummer Kelly Littleton—have remained together for nearly 30 years (an extraordinary feat for any group), the band fueling Ed’s songs with their rock-solid, road-tested, telepathic musicianship.

Winner of Blues Foundation Best Band multiple times, nominated for BB King Entertainer of the Year, Lil Ed and the Blues Imperials are legendary and the number one ambassadors of Chicago houserockin Blues.

Electrifying, raucous, pure Chicago blues… Lil’ Ed is a guitarist extraordinaire… slashing slide and flamboyant stage persona.
— Chicago Tribune

Rough and ready blues played with unmitigated intensity… Swirling, snarling, riveting slide… The Blues Imperials pound out riffs and rhythms like they’re overdosing on boogie juice.  Scorching and soulful, joyous and stomping.
— Living Blues

Hard-driving, house-rocking Chicago blues… raucous, blistering, gut-bucket slide. It rocks and rattles and hums… a great performance.
— Grant Britt, No Depression

Hard-driving… raw-edged exuberance and considerable emotional complexity. His slide can make his guitar scream like an outraged panther, moan like a hell-bound soul in torment and act the fool like a trickster, often over the course of a single song. His single string work combines post-B.B. string-bending with a raw, focused intensity. Lil’ Ed is a blues roots man and both traditionalists and contemporary-minded blues lovers with big ears should savor what’s here.

Opening the show is Noah Wotherspoon. Noah Wotherspoon is a multifaceted musician, writer and artist from Dayton, OH. A renowned blues guitarist, his accomplishments range from sharing the stage & studio with legendary first generation blues legends to making it to the finals of the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN. Aside from his accolades in the blues world, he is a prolific song-writer & artistic visionary, drawing from a diverse array of influences to forge his own creative realms.