The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach says there was no mysterious reason or secret agenda behind his decision to make a solo album.
“Why? ‘Cause I’m a musician and I make music,” Auerbach, 30, says of “Keep It Hid,” which came out in February and marks his first full-scale step outside of the bare-bones bluesrock duo. “I’ve been so busy just only being able to do The Black Keys, and, y’know, while The Black Keys is great and I love doing it, I always love making music with other people — singing harmonies, doing full band arrangements.
“So I was just sort of feeling my appetite to do those kinds of things. I write songs for The Black Keys, so any similarity is kind of obvious, but there are things on this record I could never do on Black Keys records.”
“Keep It Hid” also allowed Auerbach to collaborate with his father, Charles, who wrote two of the songs, as well as his uncle James Quine, who appears on four of the tracks.
“That’s sort of what the record is about, family and friends,” Auerbach explains. “It kind of represents what I do, who I am. My dad’s got a stack of songs he’s written, and I’ve recorded a bunch of them over the years.
“And the first song (‘Trouble Weighs a Ton’) is me and my uncle; it’s the beginning of the record and it’s also representative of the beginning of my musical career. He’s the guy who taught me how to play guitar and sing when I was 15 years old. So the album’s really about going back to the beginning and paying tribute to my roots, too.”
Dan Auerbach, Justin Townes Earle and Jessica Lea Mayfield perform Friday (Nov. 6) at the Majestic Theater, 4140 Woodward Ave., Detroit. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20. Call (313) 833-9700 or visit www.majesticdetroit.com.
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