OK, I have absolutely and completely fallen for the Black Keys. (Thanks Dylan and Caroline)
I'm SOOOOO way late to the game. These guys have been around for 10 years. But man, oh man, can they play Blues/Rock.
I am a sucker for the Blues.
Comparisons with the White Strips are inevitable, but miss the point, I think. I love the Stripes, and what Jack White does on a guitar. My hus Bill has a shot of Jack White from It Might Get Loud, as White plays one guitar string, with a coke bottle, and the string is simply attached to nails on a board. And I love him for that. He rings so much feeling from just that one string. I can enjoy technical proficiency, but I adore a musician who plays from the heart.
Yet there IS room for more than Jack White...he can't be in every band. (although he's trying)
So Dan Auerbach plays some wonderfully tasty blues licks. In the way that Jack White does, Auerbach gets that heavy, buzzy bass sound from an electric guitar. But as much as I like Auerbach's guitar playing it's the SONGS and the vocals that make this band stand out. The Black Keys play songs that you are sure must be blues standards that you just haven't heard before...
That's so catchy! Who wrote that song?
But for the most part these tunes are their own. The Keys do covers, She said, she said by the Beatles comes to mind, but it's their own songs that carry the band.
Now I know shiite about good drumming. Well that's not exactly correct, I can usually tell a good drummer from a bad one, but I can't always tell you why or how or what. But Patrick Carney brings a big and distinctive sound and you can really hear what he brings to the Keys by listening to Auerbach without Carney on his Keep It Hid solo.
Keep It Hid is what made me realize what a great singer Auerbach is. When he plays with Carney the drums really take over a lot of the music (in a good way), but on the solo gig, you get to hear Auerbach's guitar playing and blue vocal stylings with less distractions, and that's when I fell in love with the Keys, because Auerbach is a great singer as well as good strong guitar player.
Anyway, hears[sic] the Black Key's from SNL last night. (I like the additional bass and keyboard players.) I love this tune. One of those that you go, "Who originally wrote this?" Then you realize it's theirs.