I will warn you. If rompin’, stompin’, guitar-driven blues isn’t your deal, do not buy this CD. Lil’ Ed Williams and the boys have been doing this for awhile now, but the intensity level doesn’t drop. Ed forms this tight unit, playing most of the solos, sometimes with a slide, and with some great vocals that may come at you with a wink and a nod.
“Woman In The Castle,” a boogie, is hepped up with slide guitar and raucous vocals. “Natural Man” is one of those songs that’d bring a smile to Elmore James if he were around. “Empty House Tour” is shuffle heaven that features backup guitarist Mike Garrett on lead. The very funny (and at times filthy) “Computer Girl” lets Ed and the boys show some funk chops. “Lil’ Ed’s Home Cookin'” is exactly what the title advertises, a blues rocker that lets Ed showcase all his gifts – singing, playing, and a lyrical wit. Slow blues make an appearance a couple of times, too, and the band handles them nicely. In fact, the anguished guitar and vocals of “Black Night” are as gutwrenching as it gets.
These fellas are fun to see in a bar setting. If the 13 cuts here are any indication, there’s no way things don’t start jumpin’.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s Nov. ’02 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.