Austin, Texas outfit Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears maximize their manic musical assault on the hopped-up, half-hour slab of soul, Tell ’Em What Your Name Is! If James Brown and Otis Redding mixed it up with the North Mississippi All-Stars and the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, this is the potent package that would result.

Lewis and the boys erupt on opening cut, the feel-good funk fricassee “Gunpowder,” followed by the moving, grooving stolen-love sweetener “Sugarfoot,” propelled by overheated organ, popping bass and a searing horn section. Swamp blues and garage rock unite on the baby-got-back blaster “Big Booty Woman,” laced with misogynistic humor, as is the double-dealing boyfriend put-on “Get Yo Shit.”

But Lewis isn’t all strut and swagger. Muddy missive “Master Sold My Baby,” a condensed hunk of Delta blues licks and marshal drums, is a serious piece about the breakup of African families during pre-Civil War slavery.

Grade: B



Tell Em What Your Name Is! is currently available.