Joe Lewis and his band the Honeybears have played in front of Barack Obama and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, but even if you don't care for either of these high-profile fans, not to worry, they've brought their old-school blues and funk to plenty of other appreciative folks, whose party affiliation is unknown.
Joe Lewis is a native of Austin, Texas, who brings an energetic, raw talent to his blend of soul, blues, and rock that is firmly in the tradition of James Brown and Howling Wolf. As Lewis is quoted on the bio page of the band's website, “We pride ourselves on keepin’ our own style and staying true to the guys we look up to,” says Lewis. “We play the music that we like listening to. It’s always about the music first.” Both the 2009 debut, Tell 'Em What Your Name Is and 2011's successful follow-up, Scandalous, on Lost Highway Records were well-received, and the band seems poised to keep building on that positive reputation. Despite the recent departure of founding members Zach Ernst and drummer Matt Strmiska, the horn section of David McKnight (tenor sax), Eduardo Ramirez (baritone sax), and Darren Sluyter (trumpet) is still intact to back up Lewis's rowdy vocals.
Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears play at Headliners this Thursday, July 19 at 9:00 p.m. with opening band Bad Reeds. Tickets are $15, available online and at the door.
See Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears performing "Sugarfoot" live at the Double Door in Chicago: