Monday, March 28, 2011

Black Joe Lewis and The Honeybears Played Bowery Ballroom - Pictures, Review

We were thrilled on Friday to catch up with Austin, Texas’ own Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears – who were back for two shows at Bowery Ballroom a year after they tore it up here in February 2010. This time the band’s on the road behind their new album Scandalous – which delivers more of the same retro blues and funk-inspired rock we’ve come to love from these guys.

Bowery Presents promoted the shows by Tweeting “Come shake your ass” – and that feels exactly right. If there’s another band out there on the indie rock festival circuit that will bring you into the world of big booty’d women and Mustang Ranch whore houses, with songs like “Humpin’,” “Messin’,” and “You Been Lyin’,” we’d love to know about them. There doesn’t seem to be anyone out there doing what these guys do and having as much fun doing it.

Black Joe Lewis himself brings a classic James Brown howl and a raunchy sense of humor to some great talking blues moments, but what makes these guys much more than just a gimmick are the musical skills that underlie everything they do. They just groove. With another year of shows under their belt, white dude band mates Zach Ernst (guitar) and Bill Stevenson (bass) have ratcheted up their swagger enough to share the stage comfortably with their charismatic frontman.

We dig both albums –produced Spoon’s Jim Eno, a Hippies Are Dead Hall of Famer if there ever was one – but this is the kind of band that feels like it exists to play live. If they weren’t always on the move and settled in as the house band at a boozy blues bar somewhere, we’d probably be there every weekend, whiskey in hand doing… what else? Shaking our ass.

Many more pictures at the HAD Archive.

Pictures and Words By Chris Goldberg.