So, I was just saying to somebody not too long ago that The Black Keys are always a good show. Lo and behold, the boys rolled into Pine Knob up here in Michigan from Akron, Ohio in the Astro van and I get to say, “I told you so.”
This was a more laid back set from singer/guitarist Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney (on the kit over there) than I’m used to. They’ve got a new record, Dropout Boogie, but they’re still firmly in the grip of the deep blues of their pandemic record, 2021’s Delta Kream. There were six Keys in total this time out, with additional guitar, bass, keyboard and percussion filling out the duo’s “Midwestern basement music.”
Mid set, they brought out guitarist Kenny Brown and bassist Eric Deaton for an extended blues exploration on classic tunes by R.L Burnside, Junior Kimbrough and John Lee Hooker. Dan shared that back in the day he had shagged ass up to Cleveland to hear Kenny Brown, and that the gig was the inspiration for the down-and-dirty blues and soul he and Patrick have gone on to conjure as The Black Keys.
Now, for those of you who were unable to attend the show, I would like to share with you three songs via eyewitness video, by my own hand. You have to be there to get video this shitty.
“Ten Cent Pistol”
I was surprised they included this album track in an already Brothers-heavy set. It was never a single and I don’t think it’s ever been sequenced into anything. But it fit the vibe of the evening – groovy and soulful as all hell.
John Lee Hooker’s “Crawling King Snake”
The boys did a total of six tunes featuring their special guests, guitarist Kenny Brown and bassist Eric Deaton. Dan explained that Kenny Brown was a sideman with R.L. Burnside, and he surely did fry up some greasy-ass slide.
Encore! When they played this on the El Camino tour at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, it was one of my favorite live music experiences. Everybody loves this tune because it kicks ass. A tremendous way to end the evening.
Band of Horses perform “Warning Signs”
Whoa, old Bessie, there’s more! Forgot to mention that Band of Horses opened. This is the lead track on their most recent release, Things are Great.
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