The Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears 2009 tour will leave a steady stream of believers in its wake. It starts with Texas native Joe Lewis, who is raw and unapologetic. Songs on the new record “Tell ‘Em What Your Name Is!” are unfiltered and speckled with profanity, but ultimately inspired, groovy – and hilarious at times. They include titles like “Big Booty Woman,” and “Cousin Randy,” which tells the tale of crazy cousin Randy, whom Lewis suspects has the devil in him, because he decided to go fishing at 2 a.m. What you get is a modern infusion of soul, blues, funk, rock and bluegrass, all wound up in Joe Lewis’ imaginative lyrics and forceful, in-your-face delivery. It’s impossible to not prick up your ears to try and hear every word, every detail of every song.
UPDATE: Black Joe Lewis and The Honeybears came to Chicago and we took them in. See Black Joe live and updated tour dates.
Brought up in Round Rock, Texas, Lewis was exposed to soul and blues early by his dad and uncles. He then ended up working in a pawn shop where he eventually picked up one of many hocked guitars and started playing. He then went from playing self-described “terrible” solo open mic gigs; to almost giving up music; to catching the attention of future guitarist Zach Ernst; to fronting a show for Little Richard; to touring with Spoon. In fact, Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears’ new album got production help from Spoon drummer, Jim Eno, who said, “We were able to do about 75 percent of the album live, and that’s something you very, very rarely do.”
“All the songs on this record, I just made up as I went along. I couldn’t do a lot of ‘em again if I didn’t have ‘em on tape.” – Joe Lewis
Lewis already draws comparisons to James Brown. It’s justified – his influences include Brown and Lightnin’ Hopkins, and he even sounds a bit like Brown. You can also feel some Otis Redding. Lewis is a smart man too, joining a talented cast of musicians in The Honeybears who, only assembled a few years ago, play like they grew up together. But this isn’t your granddaddy’s soul and blues band. It’s all original. It flows free. And there’s so much more coming – you just can’t stop something like this.
“The way I look at it, I have to step my game up every day,” says Lewis. “I look at it as a challenge. It’s great that we’ve gotten noticed, but we’ve got to keep those people interested and bring more people in. If you don’t keep moving forward, nobody’s gonna care – and I’m gonna make sure people really care about this band.”
You hear that buzzing? It’s Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears. They’re about to burst onto the scene, and all up in your town.
Head to the official website to hear some streaming tunes. You can also get a free video download of “Sugarfoot,” and free MP3 at Amazon MP3 store. You’ll be hearing this song all summer on the radio.
Below is a new video of “I’m Broke.”
Below that are the Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears 2009 tour dates – and they just added an August 7 date at Lollapalooza.
|Jun 2 2009||8:00P||Diamond Ballroom w/ New York Dolls||Oklahoma City, Oklahoma|
|Jun 3 2009||8:00P||House of Blues-Dallas w/ New York Dolls||Dallas, Texas|
|Jun 4 2009||8:00P||House of Blues-Houston w/ New York Dolls||Houston, Texas|
|Jun 5 2009||8:00P||Emo’s Outside w/ New York Dolls||Austin, Texas|
|Jun 7 2009||8:00P||House of Blues-New Orleans w/ New York Dolls||New Orleans, Louisiana|
|Jun 9 2009||8:00P||State Theatre w/ New York Dolls||St. Petersburg, Florida|
|Jun 10 2009||8:00P||Culture Room w/ New York Dolls||Fort Lauderdale, Florida|
|Jun 11 2009||8:00P||House of Blues-Orlando w/ New York Dolls||Orlando, Florida|
|Jun 12 2009||8:00P||Center Stage w/ New York Dolls||Atlanta, Georgia|
|Jun 14 2009||8:00P||The Music Farm w/ New York Dolls||Charleston, South Carolina|
|Jun 15 2009||8:00P||Amos’ Southend w/ New York Dolls||Charlotte, North Carolina|
|Jun 16 2009||8:00P||Norva w/ New York Dolls||Norfolk, Virginia|
|Jun 18 2009||8:00P||Trocadero w/ New York Dolls||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania|
|Jun 19 2009||8:00P||9:30 Club w/ New York Dolls||WASHINGTON, Washington DC|
|Jun 20 2009||8:00P||Starland Ballroom w/ New York Dolls||Sayerville, New Jersey|
|Jun 22 2009||8:00P||Music Hall of Williamsburg w/ New York Dolls||Brooklyn, New York|
|Jun 24 2009||8:00P||Higher Ground w/ New York Dolls||South Burlington, Vermont|
|Jun 25 2009||8:00P||Pearl Street Nightclub w/ New York Dolls||Northampton, Massachusetts|
|Jun 26 2009||8:00P||The Chance w/ New York Dolls||Poughkeepsie, New York|
|Jun 28 2009||8:00P||Paradise Rock Club w/ New York Dolls||Boston, Massachusetts|
|Jun 29 2009||8:00P||Club Soda w/ New York Dolls||Montreal, Quebec|
|Jun 30 2009||8:00P||Lee’s Palace w/ New York Dolls||Toronto, Ontario|
|Jul 4 2009||8:00P||Red Rocks||Morrison, Colorado|
|Jul 9 2009||8:00P||Stubb’s Outside w/ Spoon||Austin, Texas|
|Jul 11 2009||8:00P||Chicago Folk & Roots Festival||Chicago, Illinois|
|Aug 8 2009||2:00P||San Jose Jazz Festival – Main Stage||San Jose, California|
|Aug 8 2009||7:00P||San Jose Jazz Festival – Blues Stage||San Jose, California|
|Aug 27 2009||7:00P||Salt Lake City Arts – Twilight Series||Salt Lake City, Utah|
|Oct 4 2009||8:00P||ACL Festival – time TBD||Austin, Texas|