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The Black Keys Rock On

Alysse Gafkjen-

The phrase "highly anticipated" is often used to describe a new release by a band that hasn't been heard from in a while.  In the case of The Black Keys, it seems totally justified.  Their ninth studio album "Let's Rock" comes five years after their last one.  That's the longest they've ever gone between records, and it seems even longer considering the great success the band had with "Turn Blue" and the two albums before that one.

The Black Keys are a duo:  Dan Auerbach (lead vocals, guitars, bass) and Patrick Carney on drums and percussion.  Auerbach and Carney have known each other since they were kids in Akron, Ohio.  They dropped out of college and formed The Black Keys in 2001.  Touring burnout and a shoulder injury sustained by Carney precipitated a hiatus.  Carney produced over a dozen albums during the break.  Auerbach produced several albums for a variety of artists at his Easy Eye Sound studio in Nashville.  He made a solo record, and even started a new band, The Arcs.

Sessions began last fall for "Let's Rock."  Auerbach and Carney wrote the songs together in the studio, played everything themselves (two female backing vocalists are credited), and co-produced the record.  It's a back to basics rock album with no keyboards.  The execution of convicted murderer Edmund Zagorski and his reported last words provided the record's title and cover image.  The Black Keys released the "Go" video right before the album's release.   It's an amusing comment on their hiatus.