The Black Keys are an American blues-rock music duo consisting of vocalist/guitarist Dan Auerbach and drummer/producer Patrick Carney. They were formed in Akron, Ohio in 2001. Their sound heavily incorporates elements of blues and blues-rock.
The band released their first album, The Big Come Up, in 2002, followed by Thickfreakness in 2003, and Rubber Factory in 2004. Around this time, they also opened for bands such as Pearl Jam, Beck, Radiohead and Sleater-Kinney. 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 and the lesser known Chulahoma EP, as well as a single version of "Your Touch".
Their fourth album, Magic Potion, was released on September 4, 2006 in the UK and September 12, 2006 in the United States. It was their first recording for Nonesuch Records.
According to an interview in Pitchfork Media, the band was collaborating on an album with Ike Turner, to be produced by Danger Mouse and released in 2007, but the idea was rendered impossible with Turner's death in December 2007. "Some of the stuff we ended up recording sounds like Screamin' Jay Hawkins," Carney told Flaunt magazine, in April 2008. Ultimately Attack & Release, their fifth album, was produced by Danger Mouse and released on April 1, 2008, having leaked onto the internet by March 4. The first single from the album was "Strange Times", with a supporting video featuring Auerbach and Carney appearing as themselves shooting "real" laser guns at one another during a game of laser tag.
The Black Keys have achieved increasing critical acclaim and recognition since their debut album, which was praised by Rolling Stone magazine. Time magazine named them one of the "10 Best Acts of 2003". They have supported a number of bands, and toured with Sleater-Kinney in 2003, as well as a short stint opening for Beck, and performing at Lollapalooza 2005 and 2008. They opened for Radiohead on the American leg of their brief 2006 tour. In addition to this, they were supported by the influential British radio DJ John Peel and appeared on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, and The Late Show with David Letterman. They have recorded a cover of Bob Dylan's "The Wicked Messenger" for the I'm Not There soundtrack, and have recorded "If You Ever Slip", a song written by Jesse Harris for The Hottest State soundtrack.
On October 17, 2008, the band was an opening act for fellow Akron-area band Devo at a special benefit concert at The Akron Civic Theater for presidential candidate Barack Obama. Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders, also an Akron native and Firestone High School graduate, followed their set. In November they toured through Europe together with Liam Finn.
The Black Keys also joined the 9th annual Independent Music Awards judging panel to assist independent musicians' careers.
An album featuring the Black Keys and some of the biggest names in hip-hop will be released Nov. 27 (the so-called "Black Friday" day after Thanksgiving) under the name Blakroc, Billboard.com can reveal. The project was spearheaded by rapper Jim Jones and also sports contributions from Mos Def, Q-Tip, RZA, Raekwon, Ludacris, Pharoahe Monch, NOE, Nicole Wray, Billy Danze and the late Ol' Dirty Bastard. Sessions got underway in early summer in Brooklyn, N.Y., with Mos Def's songs among the first put to tape. A video teaser featuring in-studio footage is now live at blakroc.com. It is unclear who is releasing the project, although sources say hip-hop veteran Damon Dash will be involved. The Black Keys are off the road through the end of the year, but the group has begun work on its next studio album.
On September 14, 2009 the Black Keys released 'Hoochie Coo' featuring rap artists Mos Def and Jim Jones.
The band is frequently compared to The White Stripes, a blues-based musical duo (drums; vocals and guitar) from Detroit. Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant, Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age, Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, and Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead are fans of the band. Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett has also stated in an interview that he enjoys listening to the band. Arctic Monkeys' Drummer Matt Helders can be seen in a Black Keys T-Shirt in an interview on MTV's RAW. Their song "When the Lights Go Out" was featured in Samuel L. Jackson's 2007 film Black Snake Moan, and also on the soundtrack for that movie. The Black Keys were included in the soundtrack of the 2003 movie School of Rock with their song, "Set You Free." The song can be heard when Jack Black takes Joan Cusack to a bar for "coffee". "Lies" was featured in the conclusion of the February 4, 2009 episode of "Lie to Me."
One of their songs, "Girl is on My Mind", was used in a 2006 Sony Ericsson advertisement, starring the tennis players Ana Ivanovi? and Daniela Hantuchov?, gaining the band more commercial recognition. It was also used in a 2006 Victoria's Secret commercial featuring Heidi Klum and could be heard in the movies Rest Stop and Cashback. Their song "10 am Automatic" was used in the video game MLB '06: The Show, The O.C, The Go-Getter, and was also used in a 2007 American Express commercial starring Shaun White. "Your Touch" was featured in a 2007 Lee's jeans commercial, and can be heard both in an episode of NBC's Friday Night Lights and in an episode of "Eastbound and Down". Their cover "Grown So Ugly" can be heard in the background of the going away party in the 2007 film Cloverfield. "Strange Times" is used in Grand Theft Auto 4 on the in-game radio station, Radio Broker. "Strange Times" can also be heard during a preview for ABC's The Mole, and the trailer for season three of the Showtime series Dexter, as well as a promo for Gossip Girl. Their song "Just Got To Be" is used on the soundtrack for the video game NHL 08, made by EA Sports, and "Hard Row" is featured in the premiere episode of the FX show Sons of Anarchy. Sons of Anarchy has gone on to use "Keep Me" in both Episodes 6 and 7, as well as "Busted" in episode 7. The song "Lies" is featured in the advertising campaign for the third season of HBO's Big Love. "The Breaks" can be heard in the Range Rover while Gerard Butler is driving Tom Hardy to his going away party in the Guy Ritchie film "RockNRolla". Their song "Your Touch" can be heard in various episodes of HBO's comedy series "Eastbound and Down". "Your Touch" can also be heard in the HBO series "Entourage" in the episode 'Manic Monday', during the opening scenes. The song "Psychotic Girl" is featured the episode "Messin' with the Kid" in season 6 of One Tree Hill. "I'll Be Your Man" is the opening theme song for the HBO show "Hung"
The song, "I Got Mine" has been used in 2009 for HBO's sports reality series "24/7 Pacquiao-Hatton."