Monday, May 17, 2010

Meet Black Joe Lewis

It took about five months, but now I'm quite sure my best albums and tracks of 2009 list is incomplete. Inexplicably, until this past week, I completely missed 'Tell 'em What Your Name Is!' by Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears. My embarrassment is tempered only by that giddiness you get upon hearing an absolute gem.

I'm a huge fan of James Brown, the old Stax scene and most of Atlantic's R&B division. Well, Black Joe Lewis and the boys wear all of these influences on their sleeves. So much so, in fact, it could be a turnoff to some in the same way early Sugarplastic was considered too derivative because they sounded so much like XTC. Well, I'm swallowing these tunes, hook, line and sinker anyway. I don't care that the horns on the album's opener, "Gunpowder," sounds exactly like The Bar-Kay's "Soul Finger." If you're going to steal, plunder from the best. If you have been digging Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, this is going to be right up your alley. Buy it here.

Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears - Sugarfoot (mp3)
Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears - Gunpowder (mp3)

Bonus: The Bar-Kays - Soul Finger (mp3)

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