The Black Honkeys first hit the stage in August of 2000. Guitarist, Joe Sanders, and Phil Esposito sat down and started talking about the project. Joe was big into the J. Geils Band, Hendrix and the Stones. While Phil loved that too, he also had a love for the old Motown and R&B of the 60's and 70's. It was a good fit. Nobody in the scene was doing anything like it at the time, so it was a wide open playing field. They both had worked together in another long standing Tampa Bay act called, "Freaks Rule," and knew they could put something together. Joe was playing with bass player, Wil "The Thrill" Harris, at the time. So that was a natural fit. There were two different drummers named Mike that we were playing with us. Mike Hammer was one of them; however, he was always busy with another band. So the other Mike took over. We started rehearsing in September of the same year and did our first show at Club More in Clearwater on New Years Eve of 2001.