Album, Single and EP Reviews



  Rattleshake by Li'l Ed and the Blues Imperials

Rattleshake cover art

Artist: Li'l Ed and the Blues Imperials
Title: Rattleshake
Catalogue Number: Alligator ALCD 4909
Review Format: Compact Disc
Release Year: 2006

Twenty years on from their first release Lil' Ed & the Blues Imperials are still delivering slide guitar driven, high quality blues music.  This collection opens with a storming version of Eddie Holland's "Leaving Here", before moving on to the excellent mid-tempo "Tired of Crying", written by Ed's wife Pam (who also contributes another couple of fine songs).

"Icicles In My Meatloaf" with Lil' Ed's guitar combining with the pulsating rhythms of 'Pookie' Young's bass and Kelly Littleton's drumming, and backed with Mike Garret's rhythm guitar, is a real standout track - one to played very loudly so your neighbours can enjoy it as well!

With songs such as "Golden Rule", "Broken Promises" and "Maybe Another Time" a consistently high standard of 'Genuine House Rockin' music' is maintained throughout, and a large part of this is no doubt due to the core of the band having remained constant since the second of their six Alligator albums.

Fine versions of songs by fellow slide guitar greats JB Hutto and Elmore James towards the end help close out another superb collection.  Still one of Chicago's finest and, thankfully, still one of the rawest.
Review Date: June 20 2007