With a name like Black Joe Lewis, you are either a 50s western character actor or a blues musician. The latter is even a bit hard to rustle, as Joe Lewis and his band Black Joe Lewis and the Honey Bears are well beyond the moniker of a blues band. The influence of funk and soul artists such as Howlin' Wolf and James Brown can clearly be heard in the band’s offerings.
Last week’s Tipitina’s show marked the start of their “Fall 2017 Tour,” which could have easily been titled Backlash, as the set was mainly composed of material from that 2017 release and 2013’s Electric Slave.
The Austin-based band headed by Lewis was on top of its game. It didn’t even look like this was the first date of the tour, as they played together with such ease. Lewis was light on banter, just making a brief comment about being affected by a storm [Harvey] and without missing a step. He said it like you all knew, too.
As if Harvey wasn’t impactful enough, the band's next four shows were scheduled to be on the east coast, where Irma was about to take hold. He joked about picking up gigs here in town or finding other places to play. The idea of a "Hurrication" at the beginning of a tour really wasn’t in the cards, but was floated around a bit. In the end, the band was able to book a show in Athens at the Georgia Theater and continue the tour from there.
At the closing of the show, the band gave their standard goodbyes and walked off the stage. The crowd chanted for an encore, but the band didn’t oblige. There was so much energy happening on stage that the idea of coming back after such an explosion was highly unlikely to begin with, not to mention that they needed to figure out their next move on the tour front.