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Black Keys - Chulahoma

  by Daniel Cressey

published: 16 / 4 / 2006

Black Keys - Chulahoma
Label: Select Label
Format: CDS


Blisteringly soulful new mini album from blues traditionalists the Black Keys, which finds them covering six Junior Kimbrough songs

Blues traditionalists the Black Keys here cement their place in the genre with a blistering set of six covers of songs from Junior Kimbrough. Keys’ vocalist Dan Auerbach cites Kimbrough as an early influence on his style and rather than trying to move the sound he worshipped forward he has instead become perhaps the foremost contemporary old-style bluesman, along with drummer Patrick Carney. Although their normal material is obviously not cutting edge, these songs are perhaps even further back down the meandering path the blues has taken. 'Chulahoma' is what it is possible to imagine the first blues recordings would sound like if they were stripped of the fuzz and degradation of inferior recording equipment and long years. From ‘Keep Your Hands Off Her’ at the start to ‘My Mind Is Ramblin’’ at the end all these tracks showcase the strengths of Auerbach’s blues rasp and his languid yet threatening guitar moves. Carney’s drums are equally fitting – never intruding too much into the tracks but never letting them lose their way either. And this is all there is – vocals, guitar, drums – plus a vast amount of talent. Although it will probably be viewed by some as a stop gap between proper Black Keys albums 'Chulahoma' is far from this. This is a labour of love. A wonderful reminder of how much can be done with just the basics and how much soul can come with simplicity.

Track Listing:-
1 Keep Your Hands Off Her
2 Have Mercy On Me
3 Work Me
4 Meet Me In The City
5 Nobody But You
6 My Mind Is Ramblin'
7 Untitled

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