Like its sweet-sounding namesake, Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears squeezes out sticky rock & soul, but with plenty of bite. The band's first EP coasted on Stax-flavored garage rock (and contained the fan favorite "Bitch, I Love You"), but last year's Tell 'Em What Your Name Is! spins out in several funky directions. Opener "Gunpowder" percolates with fat organ chords and blustery horn charts, while the ragged electric blues of "Master Sold My Baby" is perhaps the greatest song about love in the time of slavery since the Stones cut "Brown Sugar." Tell 'Em proves that the Honeybears can make a great record, but the band makes its mark with its all killer, no filler live sets.
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