SXSW: Black Joe Lewis at the Continental Club

That's a baritone saxophone on the left side of the frame, crowding it's way into the picture and honking in my ear. Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears were on fire at the Continental Club on Tuesday night, cutting loose with a sold-out hometown show before the full on SXSW madness begins. (Though Lewis couldn't help mischievously taunting the crowd a bit, and showing the native Austinites proper disdain for the whole ove crowded enterprise: "How's your SXSW? Standing in line a lot? Spending lots of money?")

Lewis' confrontational, Otis Redding rasp pushed hard against the blaring horns and stabbing guitars. Until proven otherwise, these guys are the hottest live band in Austin, and they know how to stir up a crowd in a way that may not be positively Scandalous - the name of their new album, which came out on Lost Highway yesterday - but is not without a hint of danger. They'll be all over Austin this week, so I was proud of myself for getting a leg up and catching them on Tuesday. A bit worse for wear while interviewing Hayes Carll this morning, however. No Philadelphia date for BJL & the HBs announced yet. Their SXSW schedule is here.

Previously: Stay Classie, Austin