THE BLACK KEYS
AKRON TO ARENAS,
AND NOW BACK
By: JC RODRIGUEZ
Well it's about time! :)
With their raw basement recorded debut album, "The Big Come Up,” the Black Keys stormed the music scene with a sound harkening back to old blues legends mixed with hard rock overlays. Dan Auerbach's vocals led the way, as Patrick Carney's drums set the rock tone with the occasional hip-hop snare. Hard working and talented, the boys from Akron Ohio hit the road beckoning attention until they became the biggest selling group in the country. With this intensity they needed to take a long break conjuring rumors of a total breakup. Now they are back with a sound of classic rock and a new love for the band WITH THeiR NINTH STUDIO ALBUM, "LET'S ROCK." Listen to the album below.
FIRST: A LOOK BACK
Both Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney came from musical families. Growing up in the same neighborhood they knew each other but never played together, that is until 1996 when their brothers suggested they should jam. Patrick, at the time a guitar player, had a set of drums for others to play while he jammed out on the axe. But once Dan came over, Patrick gave up the guitar surrendering to Dan’s superior skills and decided to play the drums instead. Growing up listening to legends like Robert Johnson, R.L. Burnside and Robert Belfort, Dan pulled from his old blues influences and combined fuzz pedal effects to get the hard blues rock sound they would become know for.
In college, Dan spent his days listening and playing music until ultimately dropping out to play covers in small clubs in the Akron area. Wanting to create a demo for club owners from other cities, he reached out to Patrick knowing he had recording equipment. Dan decided to hire some musicians to help him record his first songs. Problem was, no one showed up the day recording was set to begin. So Dan and Patrick decided to go ahead and record the songs themselves.
Making up lyrics and songs as they went along and using dated recording equipment, they created six songs in the first few jam sessions. These six songs would become part of their debut album, "The Big Come Up.” They sent their demo to all the indie labels they could, peaking the interest of a small company from L.A., Alive Records. Despite the duo’s claim on being “road-tested,” their signing and the production of their first studio album actually came before they ever performed in front of a live audience. They finally played their first show in a small bar called Beachland in Akron to a crowd of nine people, all of which were friends and family. They were so nervous they went through the set in just fifteen minutes.
Shortly after, they hit the road in an old van they called “Gray Ghost,” playing everywhere they could. After their second album, “Thickfreakness,” the band began playing in music festivals like SXSW and soon started receiving offers from companies like Sony, Nissan and Victoria’s Secret to use their songs in commercials. This paved the way for their song, "I'll be your man," to be featured in the HBO show Hung. The band toured, performed and hustled for seven years. It wasn’t until their sixth album, “Brothers,” that they saw true commercial success, launched to rock stardom, played world tours and won multiple Grammys. Now on their ninth studio album, the band is back and a new tour set to start this year with 33 shows scheduled. A story of talent and hard work and we can't wait to see what comes next.
"WE HADN'T PLAYED ANY SHOWS. WHATEVER. IT WAS A WHITE LIE."