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Black Joe Lewis 

When: Mon., Sept. 9 2013
Price: $15

blues, 8:30 p.m.

Joe Lewis got started on his brash blues-soul sound relatively late in life. He scored his first ax from the Austin, Texas pawn shop where he worked, and for the next five years he served his apprenticeship at an open mic night, learning alongside cats from the bluegrass band the Weary Boys. Lewis burnished his increasing skill with stylistic flair, developing a theatrical yelp equal parts Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, Wilson Pickett, and James Brown. Lewis’ big break came in an invitation to open for Little Richard. He struck up a friendship with the booker, Zach Ernst, who joined up and helped him recruit a crack backing band, the Honeybears. They scored a major label deal, releasing two albums (2009’s Tell ’Em What Your Name Is, 2011’s Scandalous). Lewis cuts ties with Ernst and dropped the Honeybears appellation for his new album, Electric Slave. It abandons the rocked-up Daptones-ish soul flavor of the last two albums for a grimier garage-blues attack well-suited to Lewis’ funky howl. —Chris Parker MONDAY

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