Thursday, February 12, 2009

Dan Auerbach Releases Album Sans Keys

You may know Dan Auerbach better as the front half of rock power duo The Black Keys, but yesterday Auerbach released his first solo album, Keep It Hid on Nonesuch Records. Self-produced and recorded with a full backing band, Keep It Hid is dripping with the gritty guitar and vocals The Black Keys are known for, especially on tracks like "I Want Some More" and "The Prowl." Yet, the bluegrass twang and weary blues that peeked out on The Keys' Attack & Release take on a life of their own in his solo work. "Trouble Weighs A Ton" and "Whispered Words" are notably turned down and different. There is heavy desperation in "Real Desire" and "When the Night Comes," while "Mean Monsoon" has a heavy 60's psychedelia influence. Lyrically and in mood, the album is has an overall dark tone making it a haunting, yet appealing piece of work.

Auerbach, a self-confessed workaholic "obsessed with making music" recorded songs for Keep It Hid between tours at his home studio in Akron, Ohio. Auerbach's obsession is a family affair, too. His uncle James Quine, who taught him how to sing and play guitar, also plays guitar on the album. Auerbach's dad, besides encouraging his musical aspirations at a young age, also contributed to Hid by writing "Whispered Words."

Dan Auerbach's solo tour makes its stop in Chicago March 6th at Metro with special guests Hacienda as his backing band. You can stream Keep It Hid in its entirety on Auerbach's MySpace page.
(Posted yesterday on Gapers Block: Transmission.)

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