Follow Beerland:
The Black Keys
Icon-facebook Icon-twitter Icon-youtube Icon-web

The Black Keys

Hometown: Akron, OH
Tags: rock and roll

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 2 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. Confounding expectations, they refused to simply recycle the raw blues-rock style that had brought them fame; the resulting album, Turn Blue, had a looser, smoother sound influenced by psychedelic soul. Preceded by the singles “Fever” and “Turn Blue,” it was slated for release on May 12th, 2014. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi

Loading...
Upcoming Events

No events at this time.

Suggest better video/songs


Comments

You must Login to post comments.

  • KCRW's Jason Bentley

    KCRW's Jason Bentley on The Black Keys

    7 months ago

    Played "Gotta Get Away" 05/28/2014 10:26 am

  • KCRW's Jason Bentley

    KCRW's Jason Bentley on The Black Keys

    7 months ago

    Played "Turn Blue" 05/19/2014 10:36 am

  • KCRW's Jason Bentley

    KCRW's Jason Bentley on The Black Keys

    7 months ago

    Played "In Time" 05/12/2014 10:35 am

  • KCRW's Jason Bentley

    KCRW's Jason Bentley on The Black Keys

    9 months ago

    Played "Fever" 03/24/2014 11:01 am

  • KCRW's Jason Bentley

    KCRW's Jason Bentley on The Black Keys

    over 1 year ago

    Played "Chop And Change" 06/28/2013 9:06 am

  • WTTS Indy Underground

    WTTS Indy Underground on The Black Keys

    over 1 year ago

    more at wttsfm.com

  • KCRW's Jason Bentley

    KCRW's Jason Bentley on The Black Keys

    over 1 year ago

    Played "Everlasting Light" 06/03/2013 9:25 am

  • TheOwlMag

    TheOwlMag on The Black Keys

    almost 2 years ago

    The Black Keys El Camino [Nonesuch]

    One of the reasons The Black Keys‘ El Camino is about to leave the band’s growing following (as well as many formerly unacquainted rock and roll lovers) completely blown away is because the band loves it as much as they know we will. There is no doubt that this is one of the best rock and roll albums of the year, and arguably topping 2010′s already-excellent Brothers; El Camino is one of the best we’ve seen from Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney.

    It’s not only El Camino’s catchy riffs, compositional creativity, and the battery-charged energy surging through it that makes it an instant classic. Instead, it’s the fact that El Camino is here to highlight the twosome’s innovation and versatility throughout their legendary seven-album legacy for the world to see. And god, are they proud of it. Starting with their early blues sound, The Black Keys have evolved as musicians all the way to the tangible, rock ‘n roll confidence we see oozing from the fuzzy guitar riffs and heart-wrenching vocals present in all eleven tracks that make up the album. And even though the songs are catchier, El Camino reassures us that they’re doing anything but selling out.

    With the help of producer Danger Mouse, we still hear Dan Auerbach’s sexy guitar hooks (take the album’s first single “Lonely Boy” for example), and it’s still obvious that the band is just as inspired and talented as ever, but now we are constantly reminded that their rise to the top was no accident. Except for the beautiful acoustic beginning to “Little Black Submarines” and the less hardcore riffs accompanying “Nova Baby,” the eleven tracks share a common, adrenaline-charged energy that manages to keep you more than interested, bobbing your head, and fighting the urge to get up and dance the entire time. Highlights include “Nova Baby,” “Little Black Submarines,” “Lonely Boy,” and “Gold On The Ceiling.” Ladies and gentlemen, our favorite Akron-bred duo is back, and on top.

    Check out the video for “Lonely Boy”:

    more at theowlmag.com

  • Quit Mumbling

    Quit Mumbling on The Black Keys

    about 2 years ago

    SNL attracts the biggest names in music, usually offering a performance that is poorly mixed, flat, or just completely fake (Ashlee Simpson). The Black Keys however, kill it with two tracks off their 2010 release Brothers . See "Howlin' For You" and "Tighten Up" below- more here

  • Quit Mumbling

    Quit Mumbling on The Black Keys

    about 2 years ago

    A few years ago I would have never bet the farm on The Black Keys. But a few years ago, I never saw The Black Keys becoming the band they are today. With Brothers, two kids from Akron were able to take their stripped down blues to the next level of soul- controlling just about every radio airwave, television station, and festival stage they came into contact with. More surprisingly the duo was able to do so without breaking the hearts of any fan that had been there since the days of The Big Come Up or more here

  • Quit Mumbling

    Quit Mumbling on The Black Keys

    about 2 years ago

    The Black Keys are back with new song "Lonely Boy" and an accompanying video that's its perfect complement - simple, swinging fun. El Camino is out December 6 on Nonesuch Records . Check out the video and track below, it should get you through your humpday. The Black Keys - "Lonely Boy" more here

  • Quit Mumbling

    Quit Mumbling on The Black Keys

    about 2 years ago

    With El Camino , The Black Keys are officially in the big leagues. The success of Brothers resulted in anticipation for this new album like a bottled excitement on the brink of shattered glass at your feet, a characteristic not unlike most of their music. Let's be clear, The Black Keys know what they're doing. By no means an overnight success, they were perfectly prepared for this deserved moment. Releasing their first single alongside a viral music video, they now have also released three new tracks to stream, continuing what they do best. With an more here

  • KCRW's Chris Douridas

    KCRW's Chris Douridas on The Black Keys

    about 2 years ago

    Played "Next Girl" 10/01/2012 10:08 am

  • Quit Mumbling

    Quit Mumbling on The Black Keys

    over 2 years ago

    SNL attracts the biggest names in music, usually offering a performance that is poorly mixed, flat, or just completely fake (Ashlee Simpson). The Black Keys however, kill it with two tracks off their 2010 release Brothers . See "Howlin' For You" and "Tighten Up" below- more at elbo.ws

  • Quit Mumbling

    Quit Mumbling on The Black Keys

    over 2 years ago

    A few years ago I would have never bet the farm on The Black Keys. But a few years ago, I never saw The Black Keys becoming the band they are today. With Brothers, two kids from Akron were able to take their stripped down blues to the next level of soul- controlling just about every radio airwave, television station, and festival stage they came into contact with. More surprisingly the duo was able to do so without breaking the hearts of any fan that had been there since the days of The Big Come Up or more at elbo.ws

  • Quit Mumbling

    Quit Mumbling on The Black Keys

    over 2 years ago

    The Black Keys are back with new song "Lonely Boy" and an accompanying video that's its perfect complement - simple, swinging fun. El Camino is out December 6 on Nonesuch Records . Check out the video and track below, it should get you through your humpday. The Black Keys - "Lonely Boy" more at elbo.ws

  • Quit Mumbling

    Quit Mumbling on The Black Keys

    over 2 years ago

    With El Camino , The Black Keys are officially in the big leagues. The success of Brothers resulted in anticipation for this new album like a bottled excitement on the brink of shattered glass at your feet, a characteristic not unlike most of their music. Let's be clear, The Black Keys know what they're doing. By no means an overnight success, they were perfectly prepared for this deserved moment. Releasing their first single alongside a viral music video, they now have also released three new tracks to stream, continuing what they do best. With an more at elbo.ws

  • Covert Curiosity on The Black Keys

    almost 4 years ago

    The Black Keys’ new album, Brothers, dropped today on Nonesuch Records. more at blogspot.com

  • Covert Curiosity on The Black Keys

    almost 4 years ago

    Having too many awesome things to check out during SXSW is a positive, but it sure feels like torture trying to narrow it all down into one schedule. more at blogspot.com

  • Covert Curiosity on The Black Keys

    almost 4 years ago

    While we wait to hear more of the Danger Mouse-produced Black Keys album, here is a handful of tracks that in the dudes from Akron recorded for a Peel Session in 2003. more at blogspot.com

  • Covert Curiosity on The Black Keys

    almost 4 years ago

    While we wait to hear more of the Danger Mouse-produced Black Keys album, here is a handful of tracks that in the dudes from Akron recorded for a Peel Session in 2003. more at blogspot.com

  • Covert Curiosity on The Black Keys

    almost 4 years ago

    While we wait to hear more of the Danger Mouse-produced Black Keys album, here is a handful of tracks that in the dudes from Akron recorded for a Peel Session in 2003. more at blogspot.com

  • Covert Curiosity on The Black Keys

    almost 4 years ago

    While we wait to hear more of the Danger Mouse-produced Black Keys album, here is a handful of tracks that in the dudes from Akron recorded for a Peel Session in 2003. more at blogspot.com

  • Covert Curiosity on The Black Keys

    almost 4 years ago

    I read somewhere a few months ago, perhaps in Rolling Stone, that The Black Keys had teamed up with Danger Mouse to create their next album. more at blogspot.com

  • Covert Curiosity on The Black Keys

    almost 4 years ago

    The Akron, Ohio record label Audio Eagle (launched by Pat Carney of The Black Keys) has released a new compilation of songs from bands all across Ohio. more at blogspot.com

  • Powered by DoStuff Media. Privacy | Terms of Service