The Austin Chronicle

ACl Live Shots

Reviewed by Margaret Moser, October 3, 2008, Music

Black Joe Lewis & the Honey Bears

Saturday, Sept. 27, Zilker Park

There are thin lines between inspiration and imitation, often blurred by good intentions but more often by style over substance. Give it up for Austin's Black Joe Lewis, whose love of the Godfather of Soul James Brown's classic show band led to a smokin' Saturday set. Lewis' midafternoon slot without a lot of competition allowed for an enormous crowd that swelled to near rock-star status for the eight musicians. Decked out in black and white with the horn section in snappy vests, the band heralded Lewis' arrival onstage with punching, wailing, JB rhythms. Lewis – tall, slim, and Marvin Gaye-handsome – dominated the stage, a soul shouter reaching deep into the past for killer riffs and tossing them out like a pro. By the time the set drew to a close, his show-stopping signature tune "Bitch (I Love You)" held the audience in his thrall.

Copyright © 2021 Austin Chronicle Corporation. All rights reserved.