Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears

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Black Joe Lewis
BornTucson, Arizona, United States
OriginAustin, Texas, United States
GenresBlues, soul, rock and roll
Years active2007–present
LabelsLost Highway/Universal Motown
MembersJoe Lewis
Bill Stevenson
Jason Frey
Derek Phelps
Joseph Woullard
Eduardo Torres
Past membersZach Ernst
Matthew Strmiska
Ian Varley
David McKnight
Eduardo Ramirez
Darren Sluyter

Black Joe Lewis (born Tucson, Arizona, United States)[1] is an American blues, funk and soul artist influenced by Howlin' Wolf and James Brown.[2] He formed Black Joe Lewis and The Honeybears in Austin, Texas in 2007. In March 2009, Esquire listed Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears as one of the "Ten Bands Set to Break Out at 2009's SXSW Festival."[3]


While working at a pawn shop in Austin, Joe Lewis first picked up the guitar. Shortly thereafter, Joe Lewis immersed himself in the local Red River blues/garage scene, recording and performing with Austin luminaries such as the Weary Boys and Walter Daniels.[4] Upon the release of the 2005 Brian Salvi produced Black Joe Lewis and The Cold Breeze EP[5] with standout track "Bitch I Love You" featuring Matt Hubbard on Rhodes electric piano and the 2007 album Black Joe Lewis, both released on Italian label Shake Yo Ass Records,[6] the band gained critical national acclaim and toured as openers for Spoon and Okkervil River in 2007.[7]

The band signed to Lost Highway Records in 2008. Following the signing and performances at 2008's Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits Music Festival, Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears released a four-song EP on January 27, 2009.

Their debut album Tell 'Em What Your Name Is! was released on March 17, 2009. It was produced by Spoon's drummer Jim Eno.[8]

Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears have performed at music festivals including Bonnaroo, Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, Bumbershoot, Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival, Sasquatch! Music Festival, Wakarusa Music and Camping Festival, Musikfest, Latitude Festival, and Splendour in the Grass. The band has appeared on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Late Show with David Letterman, Austin City Limits, and Later... with Jools Holland.[9]

Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears were featured in Echotone, a 2010 documentary about the Austin, Texas music scene.

On August 25, 2013, Joe Lewis stated on NPR that he was trying to shed the 'Honeybears' portion of the band's name, and had never intended for it to continue for so long.[10]

In 2017, his album Backlash debuted at number 3 in the Billboard Top Blues Albums Chart.[11]


Studio albums[edit]

  • 2007 - Black Joe Lewis - Weary Records
  • 2009 - Tell 'Em What Your Name Is! - Lost Highway Records/Universal Motown
  • 2011 - Scandalous - Lost Highway Records
  • 2013 - Electric Slave - Vagrant Records
  • 2017 - Backlash - INGrooves Music Group
  • 2018 - The Difference Between Me & You - Black Joe Lewis


  • 2005 - Black Joe Lewis and the Cold Breeze - Shake Yo Ass Records
  • 2009 - Black Joe Lewis - Lost Highway Records


  • 2011 - "Boogaloo on Clark Street" - with The Soul Distributors - Papa Bill Records
  • March 2020 - Five Dollars


  1. ^ "Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears Archives - Andrea Gibbons". August 28, 2016. Retrieved February 27, 2017.
  2. ^ "R&G Interview // Zach Ernst Of Black Joe Lewis – Rollo & Grady: Los Angeles Music Blog". November 11, 2008. Retrieved November 4, 2015.
  3. ^ Iandoli, Kathy (October 29, 2015). "South by Southwest 2009 Music – Best Bands at SXSW". Retrieved November 4, 2015.
  4. ^ "Wednesday SXSW Picks and Sleepers - Music". The Austin Chronicle. March 10, 2006. Retrieved November 4, 2015.
  5. ^ Gray, Christopher (October 21, 2005). "TCB - Music". The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved November 4, 2015.
  6. ^ "Black Joe Lewis - Black Joe Lewis | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. October 2, 2007. Retrieved November 4, 2015.
  7. ^ [1] Archived December 24, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "Black Joe Lewis: Party Music Isn't High Art". NPR. March 18, 2009. Retrieved November 4, 2015.
  9. ^ [2] Archived August 11, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ "Black Joe Lewis And His Band Stay The Course, Lose The Name". NPR. August 25, 2013. Retrieved September 4, 2013.
  11. ^ Blues Albums. "Blues Music: Top Blues Albums Chart". Billboard. Retrieved February 27, 2017.

External links[edit]