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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.
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
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If you're new to The Black Keys then this is the perfect place to start even though it isn't their music. It will introduce you to their proficiency in the genre and give some perspective and contextual roots to the inspiration behind their own work. If you'd rather hear their own music then the album Thickfreakness is the place to start.
I would recommend to anyone who wants a classic blues album that was written by an individual with real heart.