The Black Keys

Chulahoma (Fat Possum)

The Black Keys
To hear Black Keys frontman-guitarist Dan Auerbach tell it, the acclaimed Akron blues-rock duo might not existbut for Junior Kimbrough. The Mississippi Delta bluesman played in relative obscurity before finding cult fame late in life, ending his days with dirty-blues label Fat Possum, now also home to the Keys. The new Chulahoma is a reverent tribute to the mesmeric singer-guitarist.

The EP is the Keys' most evocative release yet, a sweaty expansion of everything fans expect from Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney, whose gritty, overmodulated blues deserve the term "grunge" more than the rock-punk hybrid did. In "Work Me" and "Nobody but You," the two add a new dimension to their sound, playing slow, sexy juke-joint blues, channeling the spirit of a man who fathered 36 (known) children. (And you thought Ol' Dirty had game.) How good is Chulahoma, really? On a final hidden track, Kimbrough's wife calls the band to praise the effort. Lucky you: You can just buy 'em a beer next time you see them out.

Scroll to read more Local Music articles

Newsletters

Join Cleveland Scene Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.