Monday, September 9, 2013

Black Joe Lewis - Electric Slave - review!

Black Joe Lewis’ new album Electric Slave was released in late August and the band just started a month long tour supporting this new LP. Lucky for us, they are performing at the Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival in Fredericton this Saturday night and this new batch of songs is sure to make it a fun, rockin’ show.


Where do I begin to describe the sound of this album? Their Howlin’ Wolf influence is definitely obvious, funk can be heard often in the bass, the screaming distorted vocals sure gives it a rock and roll feel, and I can even hear bits of ska with the horns in the background. That’s what makes this album so great; it’s almost in a music genre of its own.  Lead singer Joe Lewis recently told CBC’s East Coast music man Bob Mersereau that Electric Slave is “the first of the three (albums) we've done that I actually like.”  

Filled with a huge guitar riff and Joe Lewis’ distorted shouting vocals, the opening track Skulldigging starts Electric Slave off with a huge punch. I love the heavy drums filled with constant crashing on the cymbals. The blues/soul never felt so heavy.

Come to My Party is another personal favorite. The cool trebly guitar riff is backed with the funky bass that I love so much, it gets my foot tapping with every listen. I love the horns in the background giving it a slight big band feel.

I would have never expected this blues/soul/funk sound coming from this album judging by the cover alone. The band members bearing arms and standing in a desert, I figured that I would be listening to an outlaw country or mariachi band - go figure.

Band members are: Joseph Lewis, Bill Stevenson, Eduardo Torres, Jason Frey, Joe Woullard and Derek Phelps. This gang will be performing this Saturday in the Bell Aliant Mojo Tent at the Harvest Jazz and Blues festival here in Fredericton. It should be a great show, sharing the bill with The Record Company, Garret Mason and Keith Hallett.



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