Childhood friends Dan Auerbach (guitar/vocals) and Patrick Carney (drums) were mowing lawns in Akron when they made their first, self-released record, 2002s The Big Come Up; they embarked on their first tour that year after being fired from their day jobs. Following enthusiastic responses from audiences and critics, the two men decided to remain unemployed so they could devote all of their time to their music. They practiced and toured relentlessly, then released their second album, Thickfreakness in 2003.
The Black Keys live shows are fast becoming legendary among fans and critics alike. The Washington Post described the sound at a recent DC show as, A giant crashing that is louder and fuller and grimmer than a drummer and guitarist alone should be able to produce, and went on to say that Auerbach is a ferociously talented guitarist whose leads bristle and burn as if the guitar were a molten mass. And Carney wails on his drums as if he were taking part in an anger management therapy exercise. The pairs concert is as much a show of force as it is a musical performance.
Sure, Akron is nowhere near the Mississippi Delta, but that doesn't mean there aren't blues there. Actually, rumor has it that singer/guitarist Dan Auerbach lived in the Delta for some time learning from Fat Possum bluesman T-Model Ford. At any rate, soul is not something you can learn. It has to come naturally. The Black Keys have tons of soul.
"Hailed by many as one of the best albums of 2002, The Big Come Up has managed to revitalize the indescribable energy that rock music is meant to deliver. Enjoy." - Denise Grollmus, Cleveland Free Times - Summer 2002
"The Big Come Up swings, cuts and rocks like the best hill-country blues, even when they're covering the Beatles' "She Said She Said." Unlike the North Mississippi Allstars, another white-boy band trying to do this thing, there's nothing sweet or fey about the Black Keys; Auerbach has the kind of raspy, dark voice that's made for this sort of music. And the music? It's raw, greasy, scorching, harsh..." - Jay Babcock, LA Weekly
"The Black Keys play stripped down, raw, vintage-style blues that could have been produced by Leonard and Phil Chess in the 1950's. But more than revisionists, they're full of their own swaggering self-confidence, soulful hollers and fuzz tone buzz. The Big Come Up, the first album by this two-piece powerhouse from Akron, Ohio, could be the best blues album in years." - Michael Kylis, Adequacy
Dan Auerbach, bass, (7, 9, 12, 8) triplofonic guitar, vocals
Patrick Carney, broke beat kit
Gabe Fulvimar, moog bass (4, 5)
2. Do The Rump
3. I'll Be Your Man
5. The Breaks
6. Run Me Down
7. She Said, She Said (alternate version)
1. Heavy Soul (alternate version)
2. Yearnin' (alternate version)
3. No Fun (vinyl only)
4. Them Eyes
5. Leavin' Trunk
6. Brooklyn Bound
7. 240 Years Before Your Time