Skip to content

The Black Keys Discuss Beck, The Blues on ‘Sonic Impact’

Ahead of the release of ‘Ohio Players,’ Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney look back at the sounds that shaped them
Black Keys
Patrick Carney and Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys (photo: Jim Herrington)

Despite reaching the height of rock stardom over the past 22 years, the Black Keys have rarely strayed too far from their roots. Even as they racked up massive hits such as “Tighten Up” and “Lonely Boy” and four Grammy wins across 12 studio albums, their love of the blues remains prevalent in their music.

Indeed, it wasn’t blues-influenced rock artists such as Eric Clapton or the Rolling Stones who inspired singer/guitarist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney to form a band in their hometown of Akron, Oh. Instead, they bonded over Mississippi blues label Fat Possum Records and artists such as R.L. Burnside, Junior Kimbrough, and T-Model Ford.

Ahead of the release of their new album Ohio Players, the duo joined Eliot and Olive Goldberg on SPIN’s Sonic Impact, a new podcast where musicians discuss the impact key artists have made on their lives and careers. The Keys also discussed their long relationship with Beck, who gave them an early break and produced several songs on Ohio Players, how they chose their band name, why they haven’t added any other permanent members, their first arena show opening for Pearl Jam and the shock of stardom after years of grinding it out on the road.  

Other recent episodes of Sonic Impact have featured Neil Finn, Killer Mike and LP.  The podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and Spotify.