Black Joe Lewis and The Honeybears



The scorching heat, with temperatures creeping into triple digits, did not stop faithful Alive After Five goers from hitting the Grove on July 11. In fact, the sun seemed to just draw out more of a crowd, though chances are it had something to do with the much-anticipated performance by headliners Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears.

Opening band Bruce Alkire-Frogs of the North didn’t have a problem getting folks up on their feet to start the show. Their sound—a mixture of bluegrass, folk, Cajun, blues, polka, zydeco, swing and old country—filled the Grove with the stringy twang of a fiddle and the harmonious vibes of a rock and roll accordion.

When the band sent out a question to the crowd on how long they were supposed to play, they were answered with numerous “until we are drunk” responses.

As the Frogs began to sing, “I got my mojo workin’,” audience members were inspired to get their own mojos workin’ and boogied through the heat.

Between bands, an anxious crowd of live music lovers sought solace in the shade, downing cold beer while using copies of Boise Weekly as butt-buffers against the stove-top-hot brick ground. But the 30-minute intermission between the opening act and the headliner proved to be well worth the wait.

As soon as Lewis and The Honeybears began belting out their throwback funk and soul style, Alive After Fivers found it nearly impossible to resist the urge to get up and groove. By the Honeybears’ second song, there were more people up and shaking than there were seated.

Between taking swigs of his Dos Equis and showcasing his vocal talents, a sweetly dirty mixture of grit and soul, Lewis showed off his skills by playing his electric guitar with his teeth. All the while, the band’s brass section enticed the audience with their swinging enthusiasm.

This Austin, Texas-based band by no means disappointed Boiseans, who screamed a regular harmony of appreciation for the six-piece group.


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