The lineage goes something like this: Robert Johnson> Elmore James> Hound Dog Taylor/J B Hutto> Little Ed. In other words Ed is yet another in the amplified full-blast funky slide guitar players doing numbers with more muscle than subtlety. What sets the 5'1" leader of this gut-bucket four piece group off is his stage show--known for such antics as being carried around on bandmates shoulders or doing daring knee-drops and slides, Ed puts on a show that's visual as well as aural.
The group cut their first Alligator side (ROUGHHOUSIN') in three hours in 1986--it was planned as a couple of tracks for an anthology, but everyone had such a good time they kept going. This was followed by 1989 and 1992 albums and Ed quit the car wash to go out on tour here and abroad. Following the Alligator Records 20th Anniversary Tour with label-mates Koko Taylor, Elvin Bishop, Katie Webster and Lonnie Brooks, Ed broke up the band and dealt with some personal problems--see his "Change My Way Of Living," one of the few slow numbers included.
The music here is all originals, mostly good time pieces like "Compact Man" with the wry lyric "I got a little-bity suitcase and a little guitar, when I get ready to travel I get in my compact car, I'm a compact man." He covers "Too Late," "Pet Cream Man," a hit for his uncle J.B. Hutto. The rest rock out in a style critics call gut-bucket--Ed's guitar sound makes George Thorogood seem like John Denver. If you're looking for some high energy funky blues Ed might fill your bill just fine.
This review is copyright © 1999 by Tony Glover, and Blues On Stage, all rights reserved.