I'd seen their name a lot and never stopped long enough to give them a listen, or read their bio. As a matter of fact, I practically went out of my way to ignore them. Credit Aquarium Drunkard for pulling my head out of my ass. They were gushing about the Joe Lewis and the Honey Bears live show, in a way that informed music fiends rarely do. I bit, and as I read further, I learned that Joe Lewis worked at a pawn shop, decided he wanted to give music a try, took a guitar off the wall and started playing. Just like that. To better the story, he didn't spend years toiling over technique, he just got out there and did it, basically learning how to play onstage. That "Fuck it, I'm doing this" attitude is the sort of thing that I lap up.
I've seen their music called garage soul, and I guess that's about as close as you could come to describing them. Like a rag tag version of the Dap Kings, with an encyclopedia of soul that's missing a few pages. The music is stylistically all over the place, but remains in the soul/blues idiom, albeit loosely. There's definitely some Stax, and Motown going on, but there's also some Canned Heat, Black Keys, and 70s guitar boogie. Some really familiar sounds on some of these, intentional or not. "Booty City" has parts that sound like Edwin Starr's "Twenty Five Miles," and "Gunpowder" has bits of the Bar-Kays' "Soul Finger" (links below for comparison). Call it what you want, I stopped trying.
~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~Black Joe Lewis & the Honey Bears - You Been Lyin' mp3 at Popdose
Black Joe Lewis & the Honey Bears - Booty City at Aquarium Drunkard
Black Joe Lewis & the Honey Bears - Get Yo Shit mp3 (via Mediafire) at Tone Agents
Black Joe Lewis & the Honey Bears - Gunpowder mp3 at Speed of Dark
Black Joe Lewis & the Honey Bears - Bitch, I Love You mp3 at Stranger Dance
Black Joe Lewis & the Honey Bears - Boogie mp3 at Blackout Musique
Black Joe Lewis & the Honey Bears - Big Booty Woman mp3 at Blackout Musique
Black Joe Lewis & the Honey Bears - Sugarfoot mp3 at WOXY
Edwin Starr - Twenty Five Miles mp3 at Mr. Suave
The Bar-Kays - Soul Finger mp3 at Boogie Woogie Flu