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“Really simple, basic, and wonderful…The Black Keys...are the pillars...You just know they’re going to put out a really solid...straight ahead rock and roll record.”—NPR Music
The Black Keys return to touring in 2012 following the December release of their latest album, El Camino. The upcoming tour features stops across Canada, including Winnipeg’s MTS Centre on Monday, May 14th.
El Camino follows the most successful two years in The Black Keys’ career. In May 2010 they released their breakthrough album, Brothers. Debuting at #2 in the U.S., it went on to win three Grammy Awards and an MTV Video Music Award, and topped numerous year-end lists, including iTunes, NPR, and Rolling Stone. Brothers, which included the hit singles “Tighten Up” and “Howlin’ for You,” has been certified Gold in the U.S. and U.K., and Platinum in Canada. Worldwide sales are now over one million and counting.
Just days before the release of the latest album, the band joined Steve Buscemi on Saturday Night Live. This was the band’s second time in a year as musical guests on the show, a “rare distinction,” says Rolling Stone. Additional television appearances that week included “The Colbert Report” and “Late Show with David Letterman”.
Produced by Danger Mouse and The Black Keys, El Camino was recorded at singer/guitarist Dan Auerbach’s Easy Eye Sound studio in the band’s new hometown of Nashville during the spring of 2011. In advance of the release, the album’s first single, “Lonely Boy,” was released October 26, to acclaim from fans and press; the song has been climbing the radio charts rapidly. Rolling Stone calls it, “…a swift, sturdy hunk of all-American cool.” Additionally, the accompanying video has been viewed more than two million times on YouTube.
Describing the sound of the album, drummer Patrick Carney tells Rolling Stone, “Every record, we figure out the mood and stick with that. With Brothers, we were listening to a lot of hip-hop and old R&B and drawing from that. This is the first record we’ve made where it’s all rock & roll.” And in an interview with Spin Magazine Auerbach says, “I've never been into guitar solos. I really like when every instrument in the band is a rhythm instrument. This record has a lot of that going on—guitar, bass, drums, and keyboards all working together as a rhythm instrument. But unlike Brothers, which has more of these slower songs with an open feeling, [the new LP] is definitely fast.”
The Black Keys—Akron, OH natives Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney—released their debut album, The Big Come Up, in 2002, followed by Thickfreakness (2003) and Rubber Factory (2004). In 2006 they signed to Nonesuch Records in the U.S. and released their fourth album, Magic Potion, which was followed by the Danger Mouse-produced Attack & Release in 2008. El Camino is the first Black Keys album Nonesuch has released worldwide.