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What we’re stoked for: Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears

When: Thursday, June 29. Doors at 7:30 p.m., show at 8:30 p.m.
Where: The Blue Note
Tickets: $12 in advance | $15 day of show
Openers: The Flood Brothers

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Black Joe Lewis playing at The Blue Note in 2010. Lewis discovered his love for the blues after learning to play guitar as a teenager.

The first time I heard of Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears was when a friend of mine put on “Booty City.” I listened for a minute and learned two things. 1) With the exception of two lines, the entire song is made up of Lewis singing the hook “Right on everybody, won’t you take me to Booty City.” 2) It was catchy and I liked it. I decided I could overlook the repetitiveness of the song, though I can’t listen to it on repeat, and I added a few of his hits to my playlist of the moment on Spotify.

The group’s sound is a contemporary take on blues, soul and funk. A Texas native, Lewis draws inspiration from the likes of Howlin’ Wolf, Wilson Pickett and James Brown. Their most recent album, Backlash, returns to their contemporary take on soul and “punked-up” R&B. Lewis joined forces with Grammy Award-winning producer Stuart Sikes (The White Stripes, Cat Power, Modest Mouse) to record the album, revisited deep-seated influences. “I wanted to go for more of a soul/blues/rock-and-roll sound compared to the last one—the kind of stuff I was doing back in the day, but with the songwriting a little more evolved,” Lewis says.

Lewis says the album is about the ugly reality of “dealing with the backlash from the things you’ve done in the past.” The album is joyful, chaotic and full of Lewis’ high-energy screams. Given his track record and previous show at The Blue Note, it’s safe to say that his performance is sure to follow in the same path.

 

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Midwest Rhythm & Blues Revue: Show Preview and Interview

Where: The Blue Note

When: Saturday, March 11. Doors 7:30 | Show 8:30

Tickets: $7

Featured local artists: Jenny Teator , Aina Cook, Ben Hinkebein, Danielle Nicole Band (formerly of Trampled Under Foot), and the The Flood Brothers.

The nine-piece soul, rhythm and blues band known as Al Holliday & the East Side Rhythm Band will be bringing funk and soul from their home of the blues by the Mississippi River to The Blue Note’s stage. They’ll be joined by some of the hottest young singers from Mid-Missouri, St. Louis and Kansas City in a revue-style performance.

What is a revue? You may ask. Simply put, it’s a performance consisting of several musical acts that lead up to a headliner, like Al Holliday & the East Side Rhythm Band.

Al Holliday came to Pat Kay, our regional talent buyer at The Blue Note and Rose Music Hall, with this revue concert in mind. In case it wasn’t obvious, we focus on amazing live music, and this concept concert definitely fell into that category. Holliday has never performed in a revue-style concert with his band but he is “So looking forward to working with my fellow artists, my good friends and the band to bring some really special arrangements of their original music.”

“We want it to be unique. From downbeat to encore, we want it to be something special, something that only happens once a year,” Kay says.

Holliday is quite the singer and quite the character. His enthusiasm for his craft makes “soul” a very fitting name for the type of music he creates, which he describes as “Mississippi River soul music.”

Holliday says that in St. Louis, “We all really dig New Orleans R&B and think of them as some kind of sister city.” The New Orleans feel worked its way into their music with a loose, funky feel.

Holliday lives, eats and breathes this Motown, funky, soulful generation of music. He says one of his main inspirations is Tina Turner, but he’s “Not talking about that “What’s Love Got To Do with It” Tina.” Other inspirations include The Band, Bob Dylan, Leon Russell, Gil Scot-Heron, D’angelo and Allen Toussaint.

Shows like this help connect the last resurgence of this kind of music to the modern version that is played today. This playlist illustrates this concept of connecting then and now.

Holliday is an eccentric personality with a lot of faith in music and even more faith in the people that listen to it. He says his fans are the type of people that keep it real and “go hard ‘af.’”

Although Al Holliday and his “nine-piece soul R&B warrior tribe,” as he refers to them, play all the time, you won’t see them any other time in this format. The same goes for the rest of the talented singers that will be joining him on the stage.

In preparation for the show, Holliday had the East Side Rhythm Band learn the charts for all of the different singers that will be performing. Doing this requires a lot of work on their part, but it allows the show to have a backing band and switch between band leaders on a dime.

In addition to bringing inspiration and passion to their music, Al Holliday & the East Side Rhythm Band send a message. Holliday describes this message as, “Love, baby. Soul f*cking power. Strength. Community. The feeling that life will sometimes kick you in the head but it can’t overpower these things.” I know we all could use a little more love and soul power in our lives these days.

“If you like real music in your community, if you like funky music, if you are alive in the world today, this is a show you do not want to miss,” Holliday says. We couldn’t agree more.

So get your funky, soul-loving, groovin’ booty down to The Note for one of the most creative events this year.

This post was written by Erin Curry, contributing writer for The Blue Note and Rose Blog. 


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Show Preview: Samantha Fish

Where: Rose Music Hall

When: Tonight! Doors at 7:30 p.m., show 8 p.m.

Tickets: $10 in advance // $12 day of show

Opener: Aina Cook

Samantha Fish and her signature “aching guitar riffs and thunderous drums” will grace Rose Music Hall this Saturday. As a teenager, Fish honed her guitar skills and gritty blues-rock sound hanging around Knuckleheads music club and other blues guitar masters in her hometown of Kansas City, Missouri. The more she hung around, the more Fish was hooked on what would soon become her musical career. Releasing her third studio album “Wild Heart,” Fish is a seasoned recording professional.

Although music is now Fish’s career, she likes to think of it as more fun than a job. She boasts “Let’s Have Some Fun” as top song and her Spotify artist page backs her on that.

Fish commands the stage as if she’s the Beyoncé of blues so it’s safe to say that this is going to be one killer show.

Not only is Fish an amazing musician and performer, her lyrics “Lay It Down” like no other. He’s got the ace up his sleeve / got a pistol by my side / and if he pulls first, I’m gonna give it to him right / I said ohh ohh, It’s just another Saturday Night.”

If you’re wondering who will be warming things up for Samantha Fish this Saturday, here’s a taste of Aina Cook‘s booming vocals.

 

The amount of badass music to be played at Rose tomorrow is going be mind-blowing. Tickets are still available. Ladies and gents, don’t miss your chance to jam and dance.

 

This post was written by Rebekah Northern, contributing writer for The Blue Note and Rose Blog.