The Black Keys are a two-man blues-rock group from Akron, Ohio, United States which formed in 2001, consisting of singer and guitarist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney. The band name was inspired by a schizophrenic artist and friend in Akron, who used the term “black keys” to describe things he disliked or people he did not trust. The Black Keys have roots in traditional blues and psychedelic rock stylings.
They released their first album, The Big Come Up, in 2002, followed by Thickfreakness in 2003, and Rubber Factory in 2004. October 2005 saw the release of the DVD Live, recorded live at The Metro Theatre in Sydney, Australia March 18, 2005. In 2006 they released Magic Potion, as well as the lesser-known Chulahoma and a single version of Your Touch.
One of their trademarks is their preference for simple, lo-fi recording techniques. They refuse to use big-name studios, and do most recording, producing, and mixing themselves. Most of Thickfreakness was recorded in about 14 hours in Carney’s basement, using only an early 80’s Tascam 388 8-track recorder. Often, their recordings still have background noises (such as an owl hooting).
The Black Keys have achieved increasing critical acclaim and recognition since their debut album, which itself received praise from Rolling Stone magazine. Time magazine named them one of the “10 Best Acts of 2003” (behind OutKast and The White Stripes).