Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears

Punk blues/soul musician Black Joe Lewis is apparently a man of few words, but then again, songs like his own "Bitch, I Love You" pretty much speak for themselves. The track, from his self-titled 2006 debut, marries Lewis's foul-mouthed man-done-wrong verses ("Come home late at night/Bitch, you know it just ain't right/Keep making Black Joe blue/Baby, I'm gonna beat the hell out of you") with a melody and arrangement reminiscent of an early James Brown track that culminates in a hilarious tirade — complete with a shout-out to his idol, Lightnin' Hopkins: "Fuck the mojo hand, I got the back of my hand, motherfucker!" But his love for blues and soul is also tempered by a passion for the early punk of Rocket From the Tombs and the Stooges, giving his own revivalist music an edge not found in the slick nü-soul of Amy Winehouse or even the funkier tracks of Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings. Backed by the seven-piece Honeybears, Lewis ups the ante considerably on his latest, throwing blasting Memphis-style horns and organ fills into the mix with his biting guitar licks.


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