Like Albert Collins trapped
in James Brown’s body, Black Joe Lewis dishes up heaping hot helpings of dirty
funky-butt blues on Scandalous. The Austin singer/guitar
slinger’s second album bypasses the brainstem and beelines straight for the
hips and gut, letting the grooves and guitars carry the message.
Lewis and the Honeybears make
the dancefloor shake on track after track, giving the gyrating cuties a
breather only for some cutting guitar solos. Flipping the coin, Lewis burns the
blues with “I’m Gonna Leave You,” the acoustic “Messin'” and the driving “Jesus
Take My Hand.” But the relentless “You Been Lyin’,” the horny “Mustang Ranch”
and the near-psychedelic “So Scandalous” erase any boundaries between blues and
funk like a toddler mixing fingerpaints-it’s on these ass-shakers that the band
really works its mojo.
Like the debut Tell ‘em What Your Name Is!, except more
refined, focused and twice as musky, Scandalous gets the groove on of anybody within range of the speakers.
City” MICHAEL TOLAND