Black Joe Lewis
For years they were called Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears as a result of an in-joke that went too far, but their leaner moniker reflects a stripped-down lineup and a new tough-as-nails sound. Forged in Austin's dive bars and honed by years on the road, BJL is built around the rusty-blade guitar and sandpaper-on-glass voice of hard-working, hard-partying bandleader Joe Lewis and his electric personality.
A driving rhythm section and a wild, soulful horn trio are Lewis's sidekicks on his helter-skelter journey. At first evoking blues and soul workhorses from the golden age of Memphis and Detroit, the junket soon turns strange and gets heavy. Lewis blends his love of science fiction with his penchant for social commentary, inviting the people of the earth to Dar es Salaam to meet their peaceful new alien overlords or to imagine blood-testing Austin police as vampires. As apt to cover the Dead Boys as Robert Johnson, BJL ranges from rump-shaking funk to mosh-pit punk, from big bluesy riff-rockers to gin-joint boogie shouters. It's a party for the body, a trip for the head. FF/LS