Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears with Cedric Burnside | By: Janel Spiegel

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By: Janel Spiegel 

Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears with Cedric Burnside
Thursday, September 29, 2022
Doors and Dinner: 6:30 | Show 7:30

ArtsQuest Center
101 Founders Way
Bethlehem, PA 18015


It was a beautiful night tonight. A great night with friends. Black Joe Lewis and The Honeybears delivered a set that would made the Music Gods smile. Cedric Burnside is a two-time Grammy nominee and a Grammy winner, when I say THIS MAN HAS TALENT, this man HAS talent. He casually walked onstage, sat down and humbly thanked Martin Guitars for the guitar he was playing onstage. He looked at the guitar for a few seconds before he started playing. He started playing and the world came alive, the room came alive. It was a packed house at Musikfest Café where they started off with drinks and dinner. The staff and volunteers were incredible, they were courteous, fun, and kindly checking on everyone all through the evening, even as some of us completely disappeared into the music.

I digress back to Cedric; this man has talent. I felt the songs, each song, each lyric, word, expression of his face, the guitar, the audience. It was beautiful. The heartfelt soul he puts into his work. Cedric would introduce Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears. They started playing right away, they thanked everyone, they acknowledged everyone and introduced themselves, but it truly was all about the music, the instruments, these musicians who just shined brighter than any star could imagine.

I try to explain and go into some details with concerts, but I think people should experience them on their own if they can. Every person was from a different background, and yet every single person there felt something, whether a connection to all the music in general or one song. Being at a concert is one of the most ALIVE feelings you will ever experience. You walk in and it’s the crowd, the excitement, the wondering. Then the lights dim or go out, depending on what kind of venue you’re at.

People are fluttering around, trying to find their seats, bumping into friends, that was my case tonight, as I ran in to several friends, *high fives and elbow bumping and hugs all around*, it was a great night. The drinks, the food, the atmosphere, that anticipation of what songs will be played, some of us don’t have preferences but every once in a while, a band, singer, group etc. will play a song that you just want to hear live.

Let’s take a moment to discuss music and the blues. The blues is the originator, the O.G. of all music. I know some of you won’t agree, but it goes all the back. Artists like Howlin’ Wolf, Freddie King, Chuck Berry, Little Richard (Rock N Roll also), Billie Holiday, Sonny Boy Williamson II, Nina Simone, Albert King, Ma Rainey, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Muddy Waters, Robert Johnson, B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Son House, (Many known for the Delta blues style), Lightin’ Hopkins, T-Bone Walker.

Some of the songs that Cedric performed were: “We Made It”, “I’m Hurtin”, “What Makes Me Think”, “Goin’ Home”, and more. He took us through several places for blues. He makes you think of those legendary blues artists. He intertwines all this beautiful music, and the audience was just enamored. Cedric’s new album is titled, “I Be Trying.”

It was just Cedric up there onstage, a stage that is usually packed with a band, musicians, background singers, and on occasion, a dancer or two. It was just Cedric and his guitar taking music to the next level. He brought the feelings, the soul, the heart. There was nothing fancy, no wild lighting, just a genuinely talented man.

Back to Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears, if ever there was a more talented band, a band full of enthusiasm and the real deal. It would be Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears. Some of the songs that Black Joe Lewis and The Honeybears performed were: “Suit or Soul?”, “No Rhyme or Reason”, “Hemmin’ & Hawin’”, B*tch, I Love You”, “Do Yourself In” and so many more. The people dancing in front of the stage, couple dancing and having phone. No one was staring at a phone. It was bliss.

If you get a chance to see them perform live, go and do it.

If you get a chance, go and see Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears, and Cedric Burnside, it’s a life-altering experience.–the-honeybears–cedric-burnside/