Humidity. Beer. Hose water splashing over the edge of a galvanized steel swimming pool. Mosquitos. More beer. Cooler doors slamming shut, the oily odor of burning citronella, and as it gets dark, blocks away, the faint wail of police sirens. Beer.
Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears play upbeat blues injected with influences that include soul, punk and rock 'n' roll. Hailing from Austin (though now living in Montreal), Joe Lewis' dynamic vocals and heavy guitar licks provide the lead for a turbo-charged ensemble of horns and percussion.
While looking at all the music I was listening to this year I see that most of my favorite stuff ended up being single songs. (Stay tuned for a post on that topic.) But the albums that I dove into I dove into repeatedly and often. Here are about half of my favorites.
Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears push the soul revival in the toughest and most bluesy of rock & roll directions. Follow them, but be prepared to sweat all the way.
Upon sampling the flavors of Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears' newest album, Scandalous, my toe tapping began. The mixture of soul and blues gets downright funky at times and just might cause the listener to get up and move.
If there's a young lion of the soul revival scene, it's Austinite Black Joe Lewis, a 27-year-old singer and guitarist on a mission to take James Brown and Magic Sam-inspired soul and blues to indie-rock audiences and beyond.