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Live From The Current Studio

Black Joe Lewis performs live in The Current studios

Black Joe Lewis in The Current studios.
Black Joe Lewis in The Current studios.MPR / Nate Ryan
  Play Now [19:01]

by Barb Abney, Leah Garaas and Black Joe Lewis

October 03, 2013

Black Joe Lewis - Come to My Party
by MPR
Black Joe Lewis - Golem
by MPR
Black Joe Lewis - Dar es Salaam
by MPR

"Did you get that sax line from Wreckx-n-Effect's 'Rump Shaker' (which WnE sampled from The Lafayette Afro Rock Band)?" Barb Abney asks Black Joe Lewis after sound check in The Current studios. "He's [saxophonist Jason Frey] is actually playing, but yeah, we sampled that on the album," he replies. By the look on Joe's face, you could tell he was impressed with Barb's ability to make the connection between the two.

Black Joe Lewis wasn't much of a musician before he started working at a pawn shop in Austin, Texas. His employer may have fired him after his music career took off, but it was at that shop where Lewis picked up his first $100 acoustic guitar.

"Seems like everyone has a band in Austin," he says. That may be true, but not every band has the chance of having Britt Daniel of Spoon in the audience. Daniel was impressed; he asked Black Joe Lewis to open for Spoon at the Mohawk (Austin's First Avenue), and later they toured together for a week on the West Coast. It was the first time Joe saw the waves of the ocean.

Listen to the whole in-studio session to hear Barb Abney talk with Black Joe Lewis about his connection to Minnesota, why Barb compared the band to beef tartare and the craziest experience Joe had working at the pawn shop in Austin, Texas.

Songs Performed


"Come to My Party"
"Golem"
"Dar es Salaam"

All songs off Electric Slave, out now on Vagrant Records.

Hosted by Barb Abney
Produced by Derrick Stevens
Engineered by Mike DeMark