Lil' Ed Williams is a giant of the Chicago blues. Wicked slide guitar riffs, raw-boned shuffles, and deep, slow blues are signatures of Williams and his high-octane band, The Blues Imperials. With his deep back bends, high toe walks, and electrifying slide guitar, Williams embodies classic Chicago blues.

The blues runs deep in Lil' Ed's family. His uncle and musical mentor was the great Chicago slide master, J.B. Hutto, who, with his band The Hawks, helped define the city's blues sound in the 1950s. Born in1955, Ed was playing guitar, bass and drums by age 12, and soaking up everything that his uncle could show him.

In 1975 he formed a band with his half-brother Pookie Young, and began playing clubs in the neighborhood. Lil' Ed and the Blues Imperials quickly went from playing neighborhood joints to performing at clubs, concert halls, and festivals all over the country. The Blues Imperials, consisting of guitarist Michael Wolancevich, bassist James "Pookie" Young, and drummer Kelly Littleton, provide impeccable backup for Williams' charismatic music.

SCHEDULE: Friday, Boarding House Park, 9:15 p.m.; Saturday, Dutton Street, 8:45 p.m.; Sunday, Dutton Street, 5:15 p.m.