The Black Keys
About The Black Keys
The Black Keys' intoxicating brew of blues-powered, psychedelic-tinged grit and grime has helped keep rock' n' roll as alive as ever in the 21st century. Raised in Akron, Ohio, guitarist/vocalist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney first struck up a high school friendship, bonding over classic soul, Stax Records, and the hip-hop that sampled both. In 2001, the Rust Belt duo ditched college and began recording scrappy yet muscular lo-fi rock songs using an eight-track tape from Carney's basement. It was the kind of savage, swampy, soul-exorcising tunes that resonate best in the bowels of dive bars—exactly where they began cutting their teeth. Between The Black Keys' 2002 debut album, The Big Come Up, and 2006's Magic Potion, the pair pushed that sound to its fiercest, fuzziest fringes with minor alt-rock hits like "Set You Free" and "Your Touch." From there, they moved into the comforts of a pro studio and welcomed an outside producer for the first time: The enigmatic Brian "Danger Mouse" Burton injected their throbbing, vintage garage rock with fresh, modern, Moog-lined melodies on 2008's Attack & Release. This expansion of sound inspired them to dig further into their Southern influences—Junior Kimbrough, Robert Johnson, and Johnny Burnette to name a few—leading to the aching stomp of 2010's "Tighten Up," sing-along boogies like 2011's "Lonely Boy," and the moody psychedelic grooves swirling through 2014's Turn Blue. Still, The Black Keys have consistently remained true to their rough-and-tumble roots built on Carney's steady, driving rhythms and Auerbach's haunting howls and bluesy, blistering riffs. When they say "Let's Rock"—as their 2019 album boldly declares—believe it.