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Alternative & Indie - Released December 5, 2011 | Nonesuch

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Sélection Les Inrocks
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Alternative & Indie - Released December 2, 2011 | Nonesuch

Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Sélection Les Inrocks
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Alternative & Indie - Released October 9, 2012 | Nonesuch

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Blues - Released May 14, 2021 | Nonesuch

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The Black Keys—childhood friends Dan Auerbach on vocals, guitar, bass and keyboards, and Patrick Carney on drums—found success after forming in Akron, Ohio, and moved to Nashville a decade ago. But geography seemingly has never had much bearing on this duo, who started out playing Mississippi hill country blues and who, now, 10 albums in, have recorded a collection of covers by legends including Junior Kimbrough, John Lee Hooker and R.L. Burnside. Delta Kream was recorded over just two days with the duo joined by Mississippi hill country guitar specialists Eric Deaton, who backed up Kimbrough until his 1998 death, and Kenny Brown, who Burnside considered his "adopted white son." (The album's name comes from the cover photo, a classic shot by photographer William Eggleston of a car parked in front of a run-down drive-in, the Delta Kream.) It's easy to revert to cynicism when listening to a new Black Keys record: Here's the beer commercial song, the truck commercial song, the sports league song. This time, the game is: Who did this one inspire? You can detect the low-key Hendrix vibe in Kimbrough's "Stay All Night," with its slow-psych guitar and Carney's hard-working but never showy fills, riffs and tambourine punches. Big Joe Williams' "Mellow Peaches"—woozy organ, loose-limbed rhythm, and a slow build into a (mellow) frenzy—has clear through-lines to the Allman Brothers. The sweltering stomp and serpentine guitar of Kimbrough's "Walk With Me" surely had an effect on ZZ Top. And, of course, there are plenty of "sounds like Creem" moments: Kimbrough's "Come On and Go with Me" and a terrific, slinky take on Kimbrough's cover of John Lee Hooker's "Crawling Kingsnake," complete with what Auerbach calls "almost a disco riff." But, more than anything, you hear exactly where the Black Keys' own style has its roots. Burnside's country blues "Poor Boy a Long Way From Home" exemplifies it with wild, possessed moments when the guitars completely erase the need for vocals. A cover of Rainie Burnette's "Coal Black Mattie" chugs and nods and struts like a rooster, the guitars sliding all over the place, and would've been right at home on the Keys' great El Camino. (Same goes for Burnside's "Going Down South," gussied up with Auerbach's falsetto.) And in fact, Kimbrough's "Do the Romp" showed up on their 2008 debut The Big Come Up as the delightfully nasty "Do the Rump"; this time around, it gets a spit-shine makeover that sounds like sexy confidence. © Shelly Ridenour/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released December 18, 2020 | Nonesuch

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Alternative & Indie - Released June 28, 2019 | Nonesuch

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Dan and Pat have been writing the handbook for rock’n’roll for almost 20 years. A decade after leaving their hometown Akron in Ohio for Nashville, the Black Keys have produced Let’s Rock, a sort of return to the roots of original classic rock that pays homage to the electric guitar from the very first minute to the very last. In other words, the title of the album says it all. After both having worked with various other musicians, the pair have accepted one another’s infidelities and are back together. Dan Auerbach founded the Easy Eye Sound label named after his studio in Nashville, released his second solo album, Waiting on a Song, and produced a fine selection of albums for Yola, Shannon & The Clams, Dee White, Sonny Smith, Robert Finley and Gibson Brothers. Meanwhile, Pat Carney produced and recorded music with Calvin Johnson Michelle Branch, Tobias Jesso, Jr., Jessy Wilson, Tennis, Repeat Repeat, Wild Belle, Sad Planets Turbo Fruits and many more, and last but not least, he wrote the theme-song for BoJack Horseman on Netflix. After this success, Auerbach admits that it felt like the perfect time for their reunion, “That period really cleared my mind, and it made it so much more enjoyable when I got back together with Pat, because we’d had all that time off. I feel like the record is a testament to that feeling”.Let’s Rock revisits all the great big seventies guitar sounds that the duo admire. A vast array ranges from Glenn Schwartz and Joe Walsh from James Gang to Billy Gibbons from ZZ Top and Stealers Wheel (Sit Around and Miss You is very similar to Stuck in the Middle With You), T. Rex, Link Wray (Polydor period), Blue Öyster Cult and many more. “I didn’t want to overthink it” adds Auerbach. “I wanted it to feel spontaneous. I wanted to be able to record something not dissimilar to ‘Louie Louie’ and be perfectly happy with it. I was looking for the Troggs!”. “Funny, I was looking for the Stooges ‘Down on the Street’”, laughs Carney, who insists on his love for “big and dumb songs. They’re my favourite. I think on this record Dan and I came to a similar place in terms of what we wanted.  I was sitting in my studio for the last year just playing electric guitar, and for the first time in a while, Dan was playing a lot of electric guitar. The record is like a homage to electric guitar [..] We took a simple approach and trimmed all the fat like we used to”. All that now remains is the meat, the best bit! © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released May 12, 2014 | Nonesuch

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Alternative & Indie - Released January 29, 2008 | Alive Records

As minimal two-man blues-rock bands go, this has to be near the top of the heap. The problem with minimal two-man blues-rock outfits (and there have been more of them than you think) is that they're, well, usually too minimal, with thin garage sound and a shortage of variety. The Black Keys' sound, impressively, is not too thin (though it is garage-ish), and there's enough deft incorporation of funk, soul, and hard rock into the harsh juke joint-ish core to avoid monotony. Most importantly, Dan Auerbach has a genuinely fine, powerful blues voice, sometimes approximating a white, slightly smoother Howlin' Wolf (particularly on the opener, "Busted"). Auerbach's a good guitarist, too, conjuring suitably harsh and busy (and sometimes heavily reverbed) riffs out of what sounds like a cheap but effectively harsh amp. Patrick Carney's drums might be the cruder component of this two-man band, but they keep the sound earthy without sounding sloppily punkish for the hell of it, as too many such groups searching for the blues-punk fusion do. The very occasional insertion of hip-hop snippets seems neither here nor there, and the cover of the Beatles' "She Said, She Said" seems like an odd choice. But overall it's quite cool raunchy electric blues with more vigor and imagination than similarly raw, elderly Southern juke joint artists who came into vogue starting in the 1990s. And it's way fresher than the standard bar band blues-rockers with slicker execution and more reverence for blues clichés. © Richie Unterberger /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released December 1, 2016 | Fat Possum

The Black Keys shot to fame in 2010, packing out huge stadiums with their sixth album Brothers. The album artwork paid tribute to a controversial Howlin’ Wolf album (This is Howlin’ Wolf’s New Album. He Doesn’t Like It…) and it was a sign. A sign that all the music they love stems from the blues, even if they also explore other avenues. That’s exactly how they started, playing the blues as a duo in their native industrial Midwest (Akron, Ohio), while dreaming of electric juke joints in Mississippi. The Black Keys have never expressed their love for the blues as much as on Thickfreakness, their second album (and for blues fans, their best). The record where Dan Auerbach carved steaks out of the soft belly of the blues by playing guitar haché with an overpowering sound. The one where drummer Pat Carney seemed to be playing to calm his nerves after a day at the factory. They had faith, rage and hunger in their stomachs, tired and hungry for success. As much inspired by the electric blues of North Mississippi (notably Junior Kimbrough) as by proto-punk (from The Stooges to The Sonics, covering their song Have Love Will Travel), the Black Keys wrote their own legend. Listening to this record on top volume is like sticking your head out of the window of a car speeding down a sun-burned road. Only without all the midges in your face. © Stéphane Deschamps/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released August 17, 2004 | Fat Possum

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Alternative & Indie - Released April 1, 2008 | Nonesuch

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Rock - Released September 12, 2006 | Nonesuch

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Rock - Released April 1, 2008 | Nonesuch

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Alternative & Indie - Released May 2, 2006 | Fat Possum

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Blues - Released April 15, 2021 | Nonesuch

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World - Released February 20, 2016 | Coqueiro Verde Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released March 7, 2019 | Nonesuch

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Blues - Released May 3, 2021 | Nonesuch

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Alternative & Indie - Released May 9, 2014 | Nonesuch

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Rock - Released September 12, 2006 | Nonesuch

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The Black Keys in the magazine