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Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears
Scandalous - Lost Highway
FILTER Grade: 85%

By Erin Hall on March 16, 2011

 

Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears

 The second album from Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears is distilled goodness. Groovy in the most literal sense of the word (in that it actually propels you to, well, groove), it’s packed with big soul horns, blues walk-downs and an effortless aura of cool delivered by vocals dripping with devilish charm and sex appeal. The disc rises and falls beautifully, flowing seamlessly from the scorching (“Livin’ in the Jungle,” “Black Snake”) to James Brown–meets–Allman Brothers Southern rock–tinged numbers (“Ballad of Jimmy Tanks,” “Jesus Take My Hand”) and visceral, bass-heavy slow burns (“She’s So Scandalous,” “I’m Gonna Leave You”). Throughout, the horn section is lavish and spirited, and the rollicking boogie of the electric guitar prevents things from stagnating. A lot of bands pepper blues and soul influences into their work, but Joe Lewis is genuinely capturing the spirit of those styles and making them relevant to modern audiences. No easy feat, and it’s damn fun hearing him do it

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