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Chulahoma

4.7 out of 5 stars 125 customer reviews

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Chulahoma
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Audio CD, May 2, 2006
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Product Description

Recorded by the band in their own Akron, OH studio The Black Keys epitomize DIY. Chulahoma is a collection of songs that were originally written by the late Junior Kimbrough, reworked and recorded, The Keys capture the very essence of Juniors style better than any other musician today. Roomy and sparse in production the drums/guitar duo fill out every inch of these songs with distorted guitar, drums, and Dan's soulful vocals.

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For their latest, Akron, Ohio duo The Black Keys have brought forth an EP of six songs by Junior Kimbrough. This is no mere dalliance; the late elder Mississippi blues musician was a powerful influence on guitarist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney. Their three previous albums, full of dusty grooves and simple but impassioned dynamics, would have found strong rapport with Kimbrough, who unfortunately died before they could ever meet. However, his widow, Mildred gives her passionate endorsement for these performances in the form of a short phone message that appears at the end of the disc. Among the highpoints is "Meet Me in the City," which positively shimmers as the plaintive vocal soars over a virato-ed guitar. The Black Keys, besides paying their heartfelt respects, also demonstrate the breadth and durability of Kimbrough's music. --David Greenberger

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Keep Your Hands Off Her
  2. Have Mercy On Me
  3. Work Me
  4. Meet Me In the City
  5. Nobody But You
  6. My Mind Is Ramblin
  7. Junior's Widow


Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 2, 2006)
  • Original Release Date: May 2, 2006
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Fat Possum
  • Run Time: 28 minutes
  • ASIN: B000F2C87Q
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (125 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,817 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A. Woodley on May 2, 2006
Format: Audio CD
This is a great EP and more than worth the money it costs. You need to keep in mind though that this is not your typical Black Keys album. It actually sounds more like their first album The Big Come Up than their last album Rubber Factory. This album has the rawness of their first album and is not as polished as Rubber Factory. To me this is a good thing though. I love rough and raw music. This is also why it is so cool that they are doing Junior Kimbrough songs. Kimbrough is probably one of the rawest blue artists ever and the Black Keys really capture his sound and even take it a step further by using their distorted guitar and raw backbone drumming. If you don't know Junior Kimbrough he is really worth checking out but you need to be aware that some of his songs "wander" a bit, meaning that they aren't clean, concise, and under three minutes. The same is true for the songs on this album. Overall though I think this is one of the best efforts the Black Keys have offered yet.
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Format: Audio CD
This is a brilliant release. I have been itching for a new Black Keys release since getting a hold of The Rubber Factory and this EP is every bit as satisfying(if not more so) than a full LP of new original Keys material.

What is perhaps most impressive about this collection of songs is that it will undoubtedly bring great blues music to the attention of people that may not have ever heard it otherwise. The Doors were the first band to bring the brilliant song writing of Willie Dixon to my attention and the Keys have done the exact same with the music of Junior Kimbrough.

The production is exactly what it should be- clean, clear and direct. The songs themselves are outstanding. One thing that really strikes me about this EP is just how sincere this recording comes across. These young guys sound every bit as genuine and real as The Rolling Stones did way back when while covering the legendary Blues and R&B standards that inspired them.

I hate to take shortcuts by name dropping bands like The Doors and The Rolling Stones, but if my comparisons get your attention, then my mission is accomplished.

The pop hooks of songs like 10A.M. Automatic may not be here, but everything that is good in music most certainly is.

Buy this.
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Format: Audio CD
Everything these guys have put out is gold. If your favorite White Stripes song is Ball and Biscuit you'll love the Black Keys. I recommend starting with the Big Come Up and working your way through the albums to this one.

If they don't play a small venue in or around NYC soon I will cry. For a band that sounds like this to open for Radiohead in MSG for $70 a pop is a joke.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I've turned so many music loving people on to Delta Blues, Kimbrough, etc. through this cd. I will throw it on at a poker party and wait for the question from that discerning music fan, "who IS this??".

I can only hope and pray the Keys throw us another blues album like Chulahoma. I love people complaining that its all "covers" or that its not played with "12 bars" and go on to say they are a "true blues" fan (whatever that means) not knowing I guess that many of their favorite classic 12 bar blues songs are actually covers of covers, etc.

I guess that's why music is subjective. My advice to anybody that seems to appreciate music of all genres is in keep your mind open and your eyes closed. Otherwise you might end up painting yourself into a corner where only 12 bars sounds right to you ;)
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Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
Chulahoma is The Black Keys take on songs by the blues genius Junior Kimbrough. This 180 gram vinyl picture album is really sweet.

The vinyl is a perfect pressing. Fat Possum is spotty with their vinyl pressings, sometimes they are perfection, and other times there are silly flaws. In this case, they did a stellar job. The album is perfectly flat and centered, and free of any pops or background noise. The artwork in the vinyl is just the coolest darn thing in the world - its psychedelic watching the thing spin on the turntable.

This is a simple album, a clear plastic envelope with stickers and the album. There is no cardboard, no inner sleeves, no paper inserts. Given that the plastic sticks so tightly to the album (the envelope just looks toxic), I'm going to store the album in an archival sleeve.

I've owned this album on CD for four years; I love the music and am very familiar with the CD sound. The vinyl is a whole new world of sound on this album, I've gotten so used to the CD sound, and this just opened up my eyes a ton.

The music is a bit debatable; do true blues fans find it offensive that Patrick and Dan have switched up Kimbrough's melodies and instrumentation? Or is this a fresh take on American roots music? I fall squarely in the latter camp. I like what The Black Keys have done to this music. I find it interesting that this deep blues influence is so apparent in the other albums The Black Keys have done (even though the thread is getting thin, there is still a hint of blues in El Camino).

The real validation for me is the voice mail from Kimbrough's wife, saying Junior would have been proud to hear them do this music. Thankfully, they included that recording as the last song on the second side of the album.
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