Lil' Ed and the Blues Imperials in Richmond Next Week!
We hope you will join us on Time for Blues this Saturday (9/17/16) night at 11 as Henry and I have put together a great little show just for you. Great music, little jokes, but somehow we think it will all come together nicely.
Nicknames. There are so many great nicknames out there for blues artists. Heck, sometimes you can tell someone is okay by the caliber of their nickname. I’ve always found that you can’t go wrong with someone called “Junior” or “Sonny.” My own nickname was bestowed upon me by a jealous first grade teacher who called me “The Little Professor” when I corrected her over a math problem.
She was wrong by the way and soon left teaching for a new career.
This week, Henry and I are featuring great new music from two men who share a similar nickname that indicates they may be considered short in stature (or were at one time) but are very long on talent. I’m talking about Lil’ Ed Williams, the leader of the Blues Imperials and Little Mike who usually fronts one of the hardest working bands around, The Tornadoes.
Both of these talented men have new albums out and we’ve gotten advance copies to share with you. If you are familiar with their work, you are most likely already planning to join us, and if you are not familiar with them, you’re in for a real treat as you discover these major players.
If I may be allowed an annoying self-serving side note, back in the days when the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts used to run their Jumpin’ series (great bands in all genres of music playing live in the sculpture garden), I was fortunate enough to serve as the host for many of the events. One night, the band of Lil’ Ed and the Blues Imperials was the performer and when I asked Ed how he would like me to introduce him, he replied, “Just say ‘He’s straight out of the car wash, Lil’ Ed!’”
That was my first introduction to the man in the fez, and let me tell you, the band just tore the place down and I became a lifelong fan.
Now, the man who continued to hold down a job in an actual car wash as he built his career is out with his newest album, The Big Sound Of Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials on Alligator Records and we’ve gotten an early copy. Once you hear his sound we think you will be hooked. (Check the audio sample above!)
Once you’re hooked, you might want to get tickets to catch him and the band at Capital Ale House on September 22nd. For all the details, check out the Capital Ale House website here.
After that, we have a seriously hard working man and his band Little Mike who usually works with The Tornadoes. On his new album however, he’s working mostly with former members of The Tornadoes and since he didn’t want to cause any confusion with the newer line-up, he’s just released How Long under his name.
As Shakespeare once said, “What’s in a name? A boogie album by any other name would still rock as hard.” Shakespeare was right, this album rocks from the first note to the last and any chance I can get to play this great harmonica player, I’m going to take.
Just to show their versatility, we’re going to include a song from an album in which Little Mike AND The Tornadoes backed up blues chanteuse Zora Young. We think you’ll be impressed by their amazing musicianship.
Then we’ve got even more new material. Lots of amazing music has found its way to my desk lately and I’ve been itching to share it with you. Sometimes you just get lucky and among recent favorites like Jeff Jensen and Shaun Murphy (both out with new albums, thank you very much), you discover new artists as well.
We’ve got a new (to us) artist named Sammy Eubanks who just sounds like he’s a man on a mission to have fun. His new – or maybe first – album is called Sugar Me and we’ll be featuring songs from it over the next few weeks.
Also out with new or first albums is saxophonist Nancy Wright who has released Playdate! on VizzTone Records, and we are mighty glad to add them to our growing list of record labels. A tip of the old chapeau to Bob Margolin for helping us get set up with this very cool label.
We also have a couple of new artists with amazing crunchy blues – Lex Grey and the Urban Pioneers with a great album, Heal My Soul, and Sari Schorr who tears through her debut album, A Force Of Nature, like a woman on a mission. You don’t want to miss her.
So stay up with us and enjoy some great blues, as Henry likes to say, “Have a little fun!” This week is going to be big fun, so pack some snacks and turn the volume up loud. We’ll be here, all we need is you.