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The Black Keys

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  • Formed: Akron, OH
  • Years Active: 2000s
  • Group Members: Dan Auerbach
  • Website: http://www.theblackkeys.com/
  • Recent Activity: 03.30.17 RT @easyeyesound: Easy Eye Sound is pleased to announce @DanAuerbach’s second solo studio album Waiting On A Song. Available on 6/2: https…
  • The Black Keys

  • The Black Keys

  • The Black Keys

  • The Black Keys

  • The Black Keys


Biography All Music Guide

Group Members: Dan Auerbach

All Music Guide:

It’s too facile to call the Black Keys counterparts of the White Stripes: they share several surface similarities -- their names are color-coded, they hail from the Midwest, they’re guitar-and-drum blues-rock duos -- but the Black Keys are their own distinct thing, a tougher, rougher rock band with a purist streak that never surfaces in the Stripes. But that’s not to say that the Black Keys are blues traditionalists: even on their 2002 debut, The Big Come Up, they covered the Beatles’ psychedelic classic “She Said She Said,” indicating a fascination with sound and texture that would later take hold on such latter-day albums as 2008’s Attack & Release, where guitarist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney teamed up with sonic architect Danger Mouse. In between those two records, the duo established the Black Keys as a rock & roll band with a brutal, primal force, and songwriters of considerable depth, as evidenced on such fine albums as 2003’s Thickfreakness and 2004’s Rubber Factory.

Natives of Akron, Ohio, the Black Keys released their debut, The Big Come Up, in 2002, receiving strong reviews and sales, and leading to a contract with Fat Possum by the end of the year. That label released Thickfreakness, recorded in a 14-hour session, in the spring of 2003, and the Keys supported the album with an opening tour for Sleater-Kinney. The Black Keys' momentum escalated considerably with their 2004 album Rubber Factory, which not only received strong reviews but some high-profile play, including a video for "10 A.M. Automatic" featuring comedian David Cross. The band's highly touted live act was documented on a 2005 DVD, released the same year as Chulahoma -- an EP of blues covers -- appeared.

The Black Keys made the leap to the major labels with 2006's Magic Potion, a moodier record that continued to build their fan base. The band capitalized on that moodiness with 2008's Attack & Release, whose production by Danger Mouse signaled that the Black Keys were hardly just blues-rock purists. Salvaged from sessions intended as a duet album with Ike Turner, who died before the record could be finished, the album was the Black Keys' biggest to date, debuting in the Billboard Top 15 and earning strong reviews. Following their second live DVD, the Black Keys spent 2009 on side projects, with Auerbach releasing his solo album Keep It Hid in the beginning of the year, and Carney forming the band Drummer, in which he played bass. At the end of 2009, Blakroc, a rap-rock collaboration between the band and producer Damon Dash, appeared.

Brothers, released in 2010, became their biggest album yet, generating the hit singles "Tighten Up," "Howlin' for You," and "Next Girl." It also saw the Keys returning to their tough blues roots with a new grandness, earning three Grammy Awards, landing on year-end lists from NPR to Rolling Stone, and going gold. The band offered a more straight-ahead rock & roll sound with 2011's El Camino. On the strength of the hit single "Lonely Boy," El Camino debuted at number two on Billboard's Top 200 and the Black Keys worked the album hard throughout the next year, releasing "Gold on the Ceiling" as the record's second single and touring heavily. In the fall of 2012, the Tour Rehearsal Tapes EP -- a brief collection of live-in-the-studio run-throughs of 2012 material -- was released.

Once again tapping Danger Mouse to produce the follow-up, the band went back into the studio in summer 2013 to record. Standing in contrast to the short, spiky rock & roll of El Camino, Turn Blue had a psychedelic undercurrent that could be heard on its preceding singles "Fever" and "Turn Blue." The album appeared early in May 2014.

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Label Profile: Fat Possum Records

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File Under: From raw, gutbucket blues to soul, rock and pop with a similar unspoiled spirit Flagship Acts: R.L. Burnside, Junior Kimbrough, Solomon Burke, the Black Keys, Andrew Bird, Band of Horses, Dinosaur Jr., Wavves, the Walkmen, Smith Westerns, Yuck, Tennis Based In: Oxford, Mississippi Like the Delta bluesmen whose records he started Fat Possum to release, Matthew Johnson is part of a dying breed. Rock owes much of its early legacy to eccentric, mostly European-descended label owners… more »


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New Blues Rising: The Black Keys

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The Black Keys are easily the freshest thing to happen to blues in this millennium, but you can't really call them a blues band. But then, neither can you call the duo — drummer Patrick Carney and guitarist/vocalist David Auerbach — a rock band. Or even a blues-rock band in the conventional sense of the term. Their music is garage rock that knows that blues is at the very heart of rock, and it is… more »


  • 03.30.17 RT @easyeyesound: Easy Eye Sound is pleased to announce @DanAuerbach’s second solo studio album Waiting On A Song. Available on 6/2: https…
  • 03.24.17 RT @Marvel: In this episode of our new series, we nerd out with @TheBlackKeys drummer, @patrickcarney, at his home in Nashville, TN. 🎶 #Mar…
  • 12.20.16 RT @patrickcarney: Chulahoma was basically all live except for bass, a few guitar overdubs and one organ over dub. All the "percussion" wa…
  • 12.20.16 RT @patrickcarney: Summer of 2005 we recorded this in my old basement in Ohio on @FatPossum 's 16 track tape machine I bought from them htt…
  • 12.20.16 RT @patrickcarney: No advance or money was exchanged. I'm still an advocate for artists to be paid fairly. I'm still apprehensive.
  • 12.20.16 RT @patrickcarney: After five years of struggling with this we agreed to put the keys songs on Spotify. I'd rather people hear our music th…
  • 11.28.16 until midnight tonight all orders on our webstore will have free shipping with the promocode CYBERMONDAY… https://t.co/Ri1DqwiQgX
  • 11.25.16 Now available at https://t.co/MNzXZyiXsc https://t.co/HbheFgVmFG
  • 11.24.16 https://t.co/jmAEM3L5jg https://t.co/Ow1PrFA7pR
  • 11.21.16 In case you missed it, watch Episode 4 of @soundbreaking​ now @PBS: https://t.co/cPRfwB8NPN https://t.co/4XPJaRrecS
  • 11.17.16 TV ALERT: Watch @patrickcarney on @soundbreaking TONIGHT on @PBS at 10p/9c! Find out more about #Soundbreaking her… https://t.co/89T7EH2c3J
  • 11.17.16 RT @danauerbach: TONIGHT: Watch Dan on @soundbreaking on @PBS at 10p/9c! Learn more about #Soundbreaking here: https://t.co/kKYLDqVuQm htt…