The Black Keys | Brothers In An El Camino
The Black Keys
The Black Keys have gained quite a bit of notoriety in the music world since they formed back in 2001. A two man group, singer/guitarist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney, hailing from Akron, OH, play a raw blues-rock sound with most songs using just guitar, drums, and the occasional organ. According to an interview on NPR’s Fresh Air the name came from a schizophrenic artist that the pair knew; he would leave incoherent messages on their answering machines referring to their fathers as “black keys” such as “D flat” when he was upset with them. The band has seven studio albums, a few live cd’s and plays numerous tours and festivals worldwide. As of October 2011, The Black Keys have sold over 2 million albums in the U.S.
Brothers was a huge hit last year with the album being placed at #2 in Rolling Stone’s Best Albums of 2010. Plus it was featured in Spin‘s Top 40 Albums of 2010 and Paste magazine’s 50 Best Albums of 2010.
The album was nominated for five 2011 Grammy Awards the biggest win being Best Alternative Music Album. The single “Tighten Up” won the award for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals and was nominated for Best Rock Song. “Black Mud” was nominated for Best Rock Instrumental Performance. The fifth nomination was for Best Recording Package, which they also won.
Brothers arrived on the heels of three other acclaimed projects the band released in the past year: Dan Auerbach’s solo effort, Keep It Hid, the debut LP from Patrick Carney’s band Drummer, and Blakroc, a collaboration between The Black Keys and renowned MCs including RZA, Mos Def, Q-Tip, and Raekwon.
El Camino, their seventh studio album, was just recently released and is already sitting high on all the charts. Again, massive buzz is circulating about the group with talk of more awards and sold out shows. Everyone is lauding El Camino as another huge success for the group including this review from the New Times.
The Black Keys appeared as the musical guest on Saturday Night Live on December 3, 2011, three days before the release of El Camino, and they performed “Lonely Boy” and “Gold on the Ceiling”. It was the first time in the show’s history that a non-hosting musical act performed on the show twice in a single calendar year, following their earlier appearance on SNL in January 2011.
Who Will Dig It?
The music of The Black Keys should appeal to anyone that likes a good tune backed by solid lyrics and great musicianship. Their often stripped-down sound is reminiscent of vintage rock n roll and blues as they go from slow, brooding instrumentals to fast paced full out rockers. Throw in a few heartfelt ballads and some uptempo pop songs (plus a whole hip-hop influenced album) and you’ve got the makings of a band that has enough styles to please everyone. Auerbach and Carney show great promise as artists who will have longevity in the music world as both play their instruments well and write & produce songs that are both instantly recognizable and memorable. The Black Keys consistently garner applause from critics and are sure to strike a chord with you too!