If it's New Year's Eve at Dave's Calhoun Square rib joint, the diminutive gent with the big blues licks shooting from his guitar has gotta be Lil' Ed Williams. The respected Chicago blues ace and his house-shakin' Blues Imperials are on a steady streak of rattling the rafters to usher in the fresh annum at the Uptown club, blasting the old away with his stinging slide and escorting in the new with his famous duck walk. Appropriately, the Imps' latest is a slithery gem called Rattleshake (Alligator). Ed learned plenty of guitar tricks from his famous uncle, J.B. Hutto, and has kept the family ties, teaming with his half-bro, bassist Pookie Young, on some version of the Imperials since 1975. And they're still on top of their game: In 2007 the group was anointed Blues Band of the Year at the Blues Music Awards, and Ed was voted male Blues Artist of the Year by readers and critics alike in Living Blues magazine's poll. Shake that in your merrymaker as the clock runs down.
Mon., Dec. 31, 9 p.m., 2007