The Black Keys Cover R.L. Burnside’s ‘Going Down South’

The Black Keys have shared their second offering off Delta Kream, and it’s one of Dan Auerbach‘s favorite tracks on the album. The duo put their own spin on one of R.L. Burnside’s best-known songs, 1969’s “Going Down South.”

“That was one of R.L. Burnside’s hits!” Auerbach said in a statement. “We strayed a little from the original on our version with the falsetto and percussion, but we liked how it sounded in that moment. It’s become one of my favorites on the album.”

Like the video for the album’s lead single “Crawling Kingsnake,” “Going Down South” was filmed at Jimmy Duck Holmes’ Blue Front Café, which is the oldest active juke joint in America. It also highlights other northern Mississippi blues landmarks like Junior Kimbrough’s hometown of Blues Alley in Holly Springs and Mississippi Fred McDowell’s home of Como, as well as the Chulahoma community, The Burnside Palace, and Aikei Pro’s record shop.

Watch the Black Keys’ “Going Down South” video below.

Delta Kream is an homage to the duo’s musical roots and features 11 Mississippi hill country blues standards, including songs by R. L. Burnside and Junior Kimbrough.

“We made this record to honor the Mississippi hill country blues tradition that influenced us starting out,” Auerbach said. “These songs are still as important to us today as they were the first day Pat and I started playing together and picked up our instruments. It was a very inspiring session with Pat and me along with Kenny Brown and Eric Deaton in a circle, playing these songs. It felt so natural.”

Previously, the Black Keys shared a cover of “Crawling Kingsnake” and recently played their first set in over a year.

In addition to covering their music, the Black Keys are also honoring Burnside and Kimbrough by working with VisitMississippi to sponsor new individual markers for the artists on the Mississippi Blues. (Both musicians are currently acknowledged on a group marker in Holly Springs entitled “Hill Country Blues.”)

Delta Kream is slated for a May 14 release via Nonesuch Records and can be preordered here. The Black Keys plan to celebrate its release with a performance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert the following day, where they’ll play “Crawling Kingsnake” and “Going Down South.”

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