Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears
Austin, Texas-based Black Joe Lewis is a contemporary singer and guitarist with a bent toward vintage blues, soul, and R&B. Backed by his band the Honeybears, Lewis draws inspiration from such legendary "shouters" as Howlin' Wolf, Wilson Pickett, and James Brown, as well as smoother crooners like Sam Cooke. Black Joe Lewis released his debut album on Weary in 2007. Around the same time, his appearance at Austin's South by Southwest festival garnered increased fan and press support. In 2009, Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears released Tell 'Em What Your Name Is! on Lost Highway, produced by Spoon drummer Jim Eno. The band toured relentlessly over the next year before reconvening at Austin's Public Hi-Fi studio with Eno to record the even grittier follow-up, Scandalous. The set contained an appearance by gospel group the Relatives on "You Been Lyin'." Scandalous was released on Lost Highway in March of 2011. In 2013, Vagrant Records released Electric Slave, which was simply credited to Black Joe Lewis. While Lewis was still working with his band, he'd grown tired of the Honeybears tag. But Lewis soon discovered that both fans and promoters imagined that its absence meant he was working as a solo act. After taking some downtime, Lewis brought back the Honeybears billing for 2017's Backlash (his first album for INgrooves Music Group), which also found him exploring harder grooves and a stronger rock & roll influence.