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Black Joe Lewis @ Green Fest 2016

This past weekend was full of many events in the Chicago land area. Tis the season for street festivals, just about every weekend in the summer  there are multiple fests going on throughout Chicago. I had a chance to end the weekend at Green Fest in Wicker Park. It stretches from the Damen blue line stop down Damen a couple blocks towards the park. The headliner on the north stage was Black Joe Lewis from Austin, TX. If you have never seen Black Joe Lewis, then you are missing out on a good time. I believe this was my fourth time seeing him and every time has been on a festival. The first time I discovered him and his band was at Lollapalooza years back and then once at Riot Fest and then a couple years ago at the Beale Street Music Fest in Memphis.    bjl4

I thought there would have been a bigger crowd on a gorgeous Sunday night in June but the fest was competing with Fathers Day and game 7 of the NBA finals. Lewis made mention of the latter and even asked for updates on the game from the crowd.  They came on stage promptly at nine o’clock and tore right into it.  Their sound is a blend of classic soul, funk and an essence of punk and blues. The band  has a very full sound with a three piece horn section attached to a dirty garage band.  I was right up front for most of the set but the sound guy had the mix really fucking loud and after a while my ears needed a break  so I went to the back towards the end of the show.

bjl2

They pretty much went from one song to the next, keeping the talking between songs to a minimum. I was pleased to hear some classics that I love like BIG BOOTY WOMAN and SUGARFOOT. Plain and simple these guys just kick ass and blend all those genres seamlessly and turn it into a rockin’, soulful party.

4 out of 5 stars ****             @RingmasterTodd

If you missed them they will be performing tonight at Subterranean in Chicago. Show starts at 9pm tonight and you can get tickets here  http://www.subt.net/

 

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