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The Black Keys Toast to Their Grammy Nominations

Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney celebrate their five nods on their tour bus in France

Patrick Carney and Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys perform at Palacio de los Deportes in Madrid, Spain.
Carlos R. Alvarez/WireImage
December 7, 2012 12:05 PM ET

"I'm hungover, honestly," says Dan Auerbach with a laugh, calling from the U.K. He has reason to celebrate: on Wednesday, the Black Keys scored five Grammy nominations – including Album of the Year and Best Rock Album – plus Auerbach was nominated for Producer of the Year for his work on albums including the Keys' El Camino and Dr. John's Locked Down.

"I'm excited about all of them," he said. "The producer one was a real shock to me. I was just really, really happy for Mac [Dr. John] to to get nominated. I was texting with him last night. He's excited."

The Rise of the Black Keys

Auerbach and Patrick Carney spent the night celebrating on their bus. "I had tequila. Pat was having greyhounds [vodka and grapefruit juice]. We were on the bus so we got pretty, pretty drunk." The party was interrupted when the band got hassled crossing the border from Calle, France into the U.K. "We had to do that thing at customs. We almost didn't get let into the country. We got lucky. They're usually not as forgiving as they were last night. I thought Pat was going to get a cavity search," he said, laughing again.

Auerbach's favorite record of the year he didn't work on? "Man, I really like that Tame Impala record. It's a great record. Cool sounds."

He hasn't been resting much. "I just finished up a few records – a Hanni El Khatib record. I did an album with a group from Africa called Bombino, this guitar player. I did a record with a country girl named Nikki Lane. That's a really good record, too."

He also offered an update on the status of the Keys' next studio album. "Late January is when we're going to record," he said. "We never really rehearse or practice before we get into the studio. We'll just get in there and see what happens. I've been writing every day, but I never know what's going to be a song we use or not, you know."

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Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

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