While working at a pawn shop in Austin, Joe Lewis first picked up the guitar. Shortly thereafter, Joe Lewis immersed himself in the local Red River blues/garage scene, recording and performing with Austin luminaries such as the Weary Boys and Walter Daniels. Upon the release of the 2005 Brian Salvi produced Black Joe Lewis and The Cold Breeze EP with standout track “Bitch I Love You” featuring Matt Hubbard on Rhodes electric piano and the 2007 album Black Joe Lewis, both released on Italian label Shake Yo Ass Records, the band gained critical national acclaim and toured as openers for Spoon and Okkervil River in 2007.
The band signed to Lost Highway Records in 2008. Following the signing and performances at 2008’s Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits Music Festival, Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears released a four-song EP on January 27, 2009.
Their debut album Tell ‘Em What Your Name Is! was released on March 17, 2009. It was produced by Spoon’s drummer Jim Eno. Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears have performed at music festivals including Bonnaroo, Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, Bumbershoot, Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival, Sasquatch! Music Festival, Wakarusa Music and Camping Festival, Musikfest, Latitude Festival, and Splendour in the Grass. The band has appeared on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Late Show with David Letterman, Austin City Limits, and Later… with Jools Holland.
Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears were featured in Echotone, a 2010 documentary about the Austin, Texas music scene. On August 25, 2013, Joe Lewis stated on NPR that he was trying to shed the ‘Honeybears’ portion of the band’s name, and had never intended for it to continue for so long.
In 2017, his latest album, Backlash, debuted at number 3 in the Billboard Top Blues Albums Chart.
Walker Lukens has been called ‘one of the best songwriters in Texas’. The Austin-based, Houston-bred singer, multi-instrumentalist has been called ‘wonderfully inventive’, a ‘non-sexually intimidating version of Prince’, and a ‘veteran balladeer with sudden indie rock ambitions’. Walker thinks it’s important that you realize his name is not Walter.
In 2013, he released his first full length record, Devoted. It received praise from outlets like NPR’s All Songs Considered, American Songwriter, Austin American Statesman, Austin Chronicle, and Billboard and took Lukens and his backing band, The Side Arms, all over the US.
After meeting Spoon drummer Jim Eno in a bar, Walker & The Side Arms started recording new music at with him at his studio, Public Hi-Fi. Their first collaboration, ‘Every Night,’ has been streamed almost a million times now. Their second collaboration, ‘Lifted’ from Never Understood EP spent 8 weeks on the specialty commercial radio charts. Another EP, Ain’t Got A Reason, soon followed in April of 2017 and garnered Walker spots at festivals across the country like Bonnaroo, Firefly, Austin City Limits Festival, Free Press Summerfest, Middle of the Map, Underground Music Showcase. His second full length, Tell It To The Judge, will be released on September 22, 2017 on Modern Outsider.