Concert Review: Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears, March 31, The Horseshoe

Toronto – Last Thursday Austin-based Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears brought their energetic brand of horn-infused blues rock to the Horseshoe. There were sweet red guitars, badass brass, sing-a-alongs, and beer swillin’. It was a supremely fun show, despite the fact that I lost my earmuffs shortly after arriving.

“This may very be one of the best shows of the year” – Panic Manualer Paul (just recently back from the SXSW extravaganza)

As a lover of the blues, it’s so refreshing to see bands from America’s south ply their craft up here. They are steeped in the culture of the blues in way that we northerners aren’t. They grew up with it, and Joe Lewis’ confidence with this kind of music was palpable. The Honeybears are attempting to avoid the term “soul revivalists”, but the blues-infused rockers do have a sharp brass section. When you throw them in the mix, the result is music that’s both great to listen to, and groovy something fierce.

If there was one weird part of the show, it occurred approximately 27 minutes into the set. The brass section took a break, and Joe and his band slid into some harder straight-up rock. I’m not sure if Joe was experimenting with some new sounds, or playing some really old stuff before he had his horns. It was a little edgy, and it seemed like the crowd didn’t know what to think of it. Thankfully, the horns came back soon after, the groove resurfaced and everything was as sweet as, well, honey.

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Posted on by Mark in Concerts

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