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The Black Keys are boldly going where no other blues rock band is going before

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Formed in Akron, Ohio, in 2002, the duo of the Black Keys (guitarist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney) have created a bluesy, psychedelic landscape that not many other modern blues rock bands, such as Blues Traveler, Hootie and the Blowfish and the Black Crowes, are not able to cut through.


Their debut proper, The Big Come Up, came out in 2002, and whilst it stalled on most Billboard charts, it was appreciated by college radio and the Black Keys toured increasingly for much of that year.


By 2003, with the release of Thickfreakness, they had found their footing, with a garage rock sound that would become familiar with other bands including The Killers, The White Stripes, and The Strokes.

I recently bought the CD of it. It sounds great, and that "car revving" guitar sound at the beginning of the title song is cool. I'd like to know how Auerbach created that sound. Maybe it was on a guitar with a whammy bar?

The best songs on the album are the title track Thickfreakness, Have Love Will Travel, and Set You Free. It shows that even before they turned 25, the Black Keys were innovating their blues rock sound. I suppose the same people who bought this album were the same people that probably bought Under the Table and Dreaming by the Dave Matthews Band some years earlier.
The album cover is pretty yucky looking (I always joke that its a guy sticking his fingers in Hollandaise sauce,) but the album is perfect from start to finish. I have also already purchased my 3rd copy of Brothers on CD since I kept wearing it out.  I also have owned El Camino, Magic Potion, Let's ROCK!, Turn Blue, Delta Kreme and Attack And Release.
I also found it cool that Dan Auerbach's father wrote the lyrics for Hard Row and that Patrick Carney's brother, Michael Carney, did the artwork for all the Black Keys albums. And the word Thickfreakness allegedly was invited by Patrick Carney after he came up with the word while playing Scrabble with his brother, Michael.




The song Set You Free was also featured on the soundtrack of School of Rock, thus giving the Black Keys their first big break:



Their sound matured on the 2004 romp Rubber Factory (which was so named because it was recorded in an abandoned tire manufacturing factory in Ohio), but it would act as a precursor to their gigs at the Bonnaroo festival in Tennessee and their final album for Fat Possum Records, Chulahoma, an EP comprising cover songs by blues legend Junior Kimbrough, before signing with Nonesuch later in 2006.

Magic Potion, recorded in Patrick Carney's home studio (as are most of the Black Keys earliest records), features the hit "Your Touch"--its riff recognizable to fans of The Knack's "My Sharona".




Magic Potion also included the jangle pop ballad You're The One, with Dan Auerbach's sad, dissatisfying guitar tone often earning comparisons to the balladry of Rush axeman Alex Lifeson:



By this point, The Black Keys had earned fans in Robert Plant, Pete Townshend, Thom Yorke, and Chris Robinson, as well as female pop stars like Kesha and Lana Del Rey (both of whom have worked with several members of The Black Keys).


But it wasn't until 2011 that I discovered the Black Keys. My mother and I were sitting around, watching MTV, when this video came on: 



We liked the frenzy of that song so much, that after hearing Lonely Boy, we went out to Best Buy and bought the CD of El Camino and Brothers. That album really changed my life. I have been a fan ever since, and I am really glad that the Black Keys new album, Dropout Boogie, is being released next Friday. I hope to hear the rest of the album once it hits the stores. The lead single, Wild Child, is a funk rock romper that reminds me, for some unexplained reason, of Jive Talkin by the Bee Gees.




You guys should play some Black Keys this weekend at my recommendation. I listen to The Black Keys several times a month. That's how big of a fan I am.

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I’m a pretty big fan of the band myself, and have most of their output.


A tangential CD you might enjoy is Dr. John’s Locked Down, which was Dr. John playing in front of Dan Auerbach and a gang of hired guns Dan picked out personally.  All killer, no filler!

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7 hours ago, Dannyalcatraz said:

A tangential CD you might enjoy is Dr. John’s Locked Down, which was Dr. John playing in front of Dan Auerbach and a gang of hired guns Dan picked out personally.  All killer, no filler!

     0O0O0O0O0OH, YYEEEAAHH....  :cool:  


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Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?


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