The City Magazine Since 1975

Let the Funk Flow

Let the Funk Flow
August 2010
The tide is rising on Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears

While soul and R&B flow together into the great river of American music, once in a blue moon a band rises from the rapids that captures the spirit and grit of what made the original pioneers magical.

Citing James Brown, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Elmore James, and The Stooges as influences, Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears is riding the crest of this new soul revival along with contemporaries Mayer Hawthorne and Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings.

An eight-piece ensemble including Lewis, Zach Ernst, Bill Stevenson, Matt Strmiska, Ian Varley, and the Hard Proof Honeybear Horns (Jason Frey, Derek Phelps, Joe Woullard), the Austin, Texas-based band has been featured in Esquire and Rolling Stone magazines, appeared on the sound track for Showtime’s Californication, and rocked the stage of Austin City Limits.

Released on Lost Highway Records in 2009, the group’s debut album, Tell ’Em What Your Name Is!, encapsulates the musical spirit of Memphis, Muscle Shoals, and Detroit circa 1970 with an updated punch. Boasting dapper style and hot funk drive, Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears are on the rise and approaching flood stage. Get ready, the levee’s gonna break on August 24 at the Pour House.