Two generations of modern blues and soul music share the stage at Royce Hall this Friday, Dec. 4, 8 p.m. in an exclusive Center for the Art of Performance UCLA double-header with Booker T. Jones and Black Joe Lewis.
Jones, who made his recording debut in Memphis in 1960, set the cast for modern soul music and is largely responsible for its rise and enduring popularity. On classic Stax Records hits like “Green Onions,” “Hang ‘Em High” and “Melting Pot,” the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Musicians Hall of Fame inductee and Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award recipient pushed soul music’s boundaries, refined it to its essence and then injected it into the nation’s bloodstream. “Sound the Alarm,” his latest record, finds the Hammond B3 organ master looking ahead yet again, laying down his distinctive bedrock grooves amid a succession of sparkling collaborations with some of contemporary rhythm-and-blues’ most gifted young voices.
Lewis — an American blues, funk and soul artist influenced by Howlin' Wolf and James Brown — formed his band in Austin, Texas in 2007. Just two years later, Esquire magazine listed Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears as one of the “Ten Bands Set to Break Out at 2009's SXSW Festival.” Now four records into his career, Lewis has not settled on a single formula. The band was featured in “Echotone,” a 2010 documentary about the Austin, Texas music scene, but with the 2013 release of “Electric Slave,” Lewis dropped the Honeybears moniker for his band and created yet another fiercely entertaining record.
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