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Editors’ Notes

Released between Rubber Factory and Magic Potion, the Chulahoma EP covers six songs written by Junior Kimbrough, the late Mississippi bluesman whom The Black Keys cite as a primary influence (they were on the Fat Possum label together for a time). As the Keys covered Kimbrough songs on each of their first two releases, this homage makes natural sense—yet the Keys still put their own twist on things. Rather than faithfully recreate Kimbrough’s versions, the duo taps into the feel and trace-like groove of the originals while injecting the sophisticated hard-rock crunch of Dan Auerbach’s guitar and Patrick Carney’s thundering drumming. Further setting the songs apart is the hazy production. Psychedelic touches (such as the swirling organ on “Have Mercy on Me,” the moody vibe of “Meet Me in the City,” and the creeping drone of “Junior’s Instrumentals”) do the songs justice while sounding definitively like The Black Keys. Even Auerbach’s soulful vocals tap into the lusty wail at the heart of Kimbrough’s music. Overall, it’s a worthy tribute from a band with the chops and sincerity to pull it off.

Customer Reviews

Makes a man LONG for a woman--MMMPH!!

I love Junior Kimbrough and the Black Keys, and this album is even better than the sum of those parts. It takes Junior's loose, muddy rambling style and adds just the right amount of muscle and percussion. It is hard to do justice to this album with words. So simple... so few lyrics... and yet so much longing and sexuality and love and suffering. This is the blues in the absolute best sense. If you need a stronger testimonial than that, play the 30 second sound clip from track 7 "Junior's Widow." Enough said.

Simply Stunning

You can really feel the passion on this album, more so than all the others. "My Mind Is Ramblin" is a perfect example. Trust me, every song is worth having, a must for any TBK fan. I only started listening to them this fall and have several friends hooked.

Great Work!

The Black Keys get this album right. Every song belongs and sounds right on. I highly recommend it.


Formed: 2001 in Akron, OH

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

It's too facile to call the Black Keys counterparts of the White Stripes: they share several surface similarities -- their names are color-coded, they hail from the Midwest, they're guitar-and-drum blues-rock duos -- but the Black Keys are their own distinct thing, a tougher, rougher rock band with a purist streak that never surfaced in the Stripes. But that's not to say that the Black Keys are blues traditionalists: even on their 2002 debut, The Big Come Up, they covered the Beatles' psychedelic...
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