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Tell 'Em What Your Name Is!

4.2 out of 5 stars 82 customer reviews

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Audio CD, March 17, 2009
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Editorial Reviews

Tell `Em What Your Name Is!, the debut album from Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears is set for release by Lost Highway on March 17. Formed in Austin, TX, Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears is an eight-piece, garage-soul ensemble featuring groove-laden guitars, penetrating brass and a fiery frontman who exudes power and attitude.

Experiencing the raw energy of Black Joe's performances, accompanied by The Honeybears' masterful backing is the equivalent of a kick to the stomach. Their gut-shot style, felt in such songs as "Gunpowder", "Master Sold My Baby" and "I'm Broke", draws directly from their classic soul, R&B and blues influences. Inspiration from artists such as Otis Redding and The Bar-Kays, James Brown and Lightning Hopkins are clearly present in their songs and live shows, but Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears inject a full-tilt, unabashedly brash element to this old-school style.

Tell `Em What Your Name Is! was produced by Jim Eno of Spoon, and recorded, mostly live in the studio, in Austin, TX.

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 17, 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Lost Highway
  • ASIN: B001SMC91M
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,698 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Hehhhh! Something great has been brewing over the last couple of years. Funky, gutbucket soul music is back! Not the canned, overblown, and ersatz junk you hear on TV singing contests and sitcoms but true 60's style R&B. Sharon Jones, Amy Winehouse (yes, Amy Winehouse-she used Sharon Jones' backing band on Back to Black), and Raphael Saadiq are all doing their part to resurrect soul. And now Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears have stepped up to the plate.

Tell `Em What Your Name Is! is a gritty, storming, high energy debut album. Black Joe Lewis sings like James Brown and the Honeybears have that classic bass-and-horn driven Stax sound. That's right, it's like the Godfather of Soul fronting the Mar-Keys or Booker T. & the MGs. Talk about two great things that go great together--forget Reese's Peanut Butter Cups!

If that doesn't mean anything to you, just listen to the samples. You'll be up and on your feet dancing in no time. Then, check out some JB and Stax cuts and you'll see what I'm talkin' about.

Now then, back to the album. It's pretty much funky soul all the way through, with a few blues tunes, including a Yardbirds style rave up and a Fat Possum-like Mississippi hill country droner, tossed in for good measure. Black Joe and the band play loud and hard on every track...don't go looking for any slow jams on this platter. The only real flaws are that the running time is kind of short and the music seems to have been mixed for iPod and computer listening, with every element of the music placed way upfront.
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It is impossible to listen to this album and not want to dance around. There should be a warning on this album not to listen to it in the car, because I can't really contain myself. I haven't seen such energy and such a fun performer in many years. Black Joe and the Honeybears are a strange mix of funk, soul and rock and roll. I think the reviews call this "garage funk" or "garage soul" and that seems pretty accurate.

My favorite song from the album is "I'm Broke". I can't get the song out of my head, but it's not a bad thing. But "Sugarfoot" is a close second. I absolutely love the horns. There really isn't a bad song anywhere on the album.

It is ridiculous to think that this is the first record from this guy. The music is raw, high-energy and will absolutely make it impossible for you to stay in your seat.
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I love the sound of this band, but after awhile, Joe's voice really starts to grate. The instrumentation is great, I love the horns, and Joe is a great guitar player and songwriter (for the type of sound he's aiming for), but he just doesn't have much vocal range. That said, I'm really surprised a couple of these songs haven't found their way onto some 1970s period movie or TV soundtrack.
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I went to see Mates Of State in Dallas, TX and Black Joe Lewis was opening for them. I enjoyed them so much, I just HAD to have physical copy of their music and went and bought a CD after the show (something I rarely do).

This band is extremely funky and talented. The use of horns and 'James Brown' style of singing makes Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears a truly enjoyable experience.

I plan on seeing them every time they come to town, and I HIGHLY recommend you do the same.
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Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears are a band which are more commonly labelled "Retro-Soul" these days. Alike one of their peer bands, Vintage Trouble, the label hardly describes the contents. Black Joe Lewis is "the real deal". If you don't like dancing all over the house and singing along with a grin from ear to ear then don't buy this. There is no way you can listen to something like this and stay seated. This is a solid tight soulful band the likes of what we've seen come out of Muscle Shoals and Memphis. Joe Lewis has a course but deep and soulful set of vocals that fits them like a glove! If you love Otis, Aretha, Wilson Pickett or Sam & Dave, don't hesitate to snatch this one up!
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This is a very short album, barely passing the 30-minute mark, but is absolutely packed with fiery, uptempo, combustible funky and bluesy soul tunes, all powered by a blistering barrage of horns, piano, and guitar. Man, listening to the frenetic pace of this album almost takes my breath away. It's that good. Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears remind me of several other artists: Charles Wright & the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band, along with the J. Geils Band, and even the Black Crowes. Throw in the Gun Club for that Jeffrey Lee Pierce type of wild abandon while we're at it. I hear it. Really, the music on this CD has got the feel and soul and vibe of all those artists. Please, please, please, don't let any producers try and "smooth out" this band's rough and tumble style. I like it like this.
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Man, this CD hasn't left the car since I purchased it. It's on my iPod and on my computer at work. I just can't get enough of Black Joe Lewis and his gutbucket brigade, the Honeybears. Think James Brown with more energy and a slightly dirtier mind. Sounds like Stax-era horns and guitar soul with more attitude.

The album blasts off with the funky "Gunpowder" and "Sugarfoot" before slowing down the pace (but not the intensity!) with "I'm Broke". "I'm Broke" has a building horn part that'll make you shout. The party keeps on rolling with "Big Booty Woman" and "Boogie" before taking a darker turn with "Master Sold My Baby". The mood lightens back up with "Get Yo [...]", coupling some of the funniest damn lyrics I've ever heard with a great guitar chorus. From there, they head into Booker T territory with the instrumental "Humpin'". "Bobby Boshay" and the James Brownish "Please Pt. 2" close out the album.

If this album has a flaw, it's that it's too doggone short. I can't wait to hear the next one (Scandalous) and plan on picking it up the day it hits stores, something I haven't done with a band in ages. Black Joe Lewis is legit!
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