The Black Keys reconnect with the blues songs that informed their early years on the duo’s 10th studio album Delta Kream.
Recorded in Nashville at the studio of Black Keys singer-guitarist Dan Auerbach, the record finds Auerbach and Keys drummer Patrick Carney paying homage to bluesmen like R.L. Burnside, Junior Kimbrough, and Fred McDowell over 11 songs. Delta Kream, the follow-up to the Black Keys’ 2019 album Let’s Rock, will be released May 14th on Nonesuch Records.
The band preview the upcoming project with the single “Crawling Kingsnake,” an ominous, swaggering slice of Hill Country blues recorded by John Lee Hooker; Auerbach was first introduced to it via later Kimbrough rendition.
“This is basically folk music on a certain level, and a lot of this music is like hand-me-downs from generation to generation,” Auerbach told Rolling Stone during an interview for an upcoming story. “I’m singing lyrics that are like third-generation wrong lyrics. I’m singing a certain version that Junior recorded where maybe he messed up a line, but that’s the only one I know. So we were really just kind of flying by the seat of our pants.”
Guitarist Kenny Brown and bassist Eric Deaton, the former sidemen of Burnside and Kimbrough, respectively, join Auerbach and Carney on Delta Kream. Percussionist Sam Bacco and organ player Ray Jacildo also appear.
Along with tracks like “Crawling Kingsnake” and “Going Down South,” Delta Kream features a new recording of “Do the Romp,” which the Black Keys first recorded (as “Do the Rump”) for their 2002 debut, The Big Come-Up.
The duo released a music video for “Crawling Kingsnake,” directed by Tim Hardiman and filmed at Jimmy Duck Holmes’ Blue Front Café in Bentonia, Mississippi. The Blue Front is the oldest active juke joint in the U.S.
1. “Crawling Kingsnake” (John Lee Hooker / Bernard Besman)
2. “Louise” (Fred McDowell)
3. “Poor Boy a Long Way From Home” (Robert Lee Burnside)
4. “Stay All Night” (David Kimbrough, Jr.)
5. “Going Down South” (Robert Lee Burnside)
6. “Coal Black Mattie” (Ranie Burnette)
7. “Do the Romp” (David Kimbrough, Jr.)
8. “Sad Days, Lonely Nights” (David Kimbrough, Jr.)
9. “Walk with Me” (David Kimbrough, Jr.)
10. “Mellow Peaches” (Joseph Lee Williams)
11. “Come on and Go with Me” (David Kimbrough, Jr.)