CD Review of Chulahoma by The Black Keys

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Released: 2006
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This little fuzzed-out, garage-punk-blues EP puts my little pea brain into high gear: I think, of all the Rolling Stones rip-off artists that have come and gone over the last 40 years, Ohio duo the Black Keys are the only ones that successfully replicate the dirty rock-blues feeling Keith Richards infused into the Stones' sound – which itself is beautiful because the Stones were one of the very few white 1960s blues revival bands to take Delta Blues riffs, electrify them, yet keep them intact enough to leave the cotton-mouthed taste of Mississippi river silt in the back of one's mouth.

The fact that some Keys tunes, so far, have showed up as background music in Nissan commercials makes me think, uncharacteristically, not about corporate America's bastardization of another phenomenal indie band, but rather, "Damn, them marketing folk sure know good a tune when they hear it." I also think Junior Kimbrough's forlorn blues originals – and the crazy story of his revival thanks to Fat Possum Records in the 1990s – earned him a spot in the pantheon of this dying art if he wasn't already there.

Lastly, I think that if the Black Keys covered an entire CD of Junior Kimbrough's songs, it would be tantamount to masturbation, and that it would be difficult to listen to, past the fourth or so track. But this six-song, 27-minute tribute gives the Akron duo enough time to stretch out and jam down on his famous cuts like "Meet Me in the City" and "Keep Your Hands Off Her"... without giving them enough rope to hang themselves.

~Mojo Flucke, PhD