The Black Keys are an American blues rock music duo consisting of vocalist/guitarist Dan Auerbach and drummer/producer Patrick Carney. The band was formed in Akron, Ohio, in 2001. As of October 2010, the band has sold over 1.7 million records.
Early history and The Big Come Up (2001–2002)
The Black Keys are from Akron, Ohio. The band's two members are Dan Auerbach (guitar and lead vocals) and Patrick Carney (drummer). According to an interview on NPR's Fresh Air the name came from a schizophrenic artist named Alfred McMoore that the pair knew; he would leave incoherent messages on their answering machines referring to their fathers as "black keys" such as "D flat" when he was upset with them.
The band released their debut album, The Big Come Up, in early 2002. The album was very successful for a new independent rock band. Along with their second album, it was recorded entirely in drummer Patrick Carney's basement on an 8-track tape recorder from the early 1980s. The album spawned two singles released as an EP, "Leavin' Trunk" and "She Said, She Said". Both are cover songs; "Leavin' Trunk" is a traditional blues standard and "She Said, She Said" is originally by The Beatles. "I'll Be Your Man" would later be used as the theme for the HBO series Hung. "Breaks" was featured in the 2008 film RocknRolla'
Thickfreakness era (2003)
The band released Thickfreakness in April 2003, which was recorded on a Tascam 388 in Carney's basement in 14 hours. The album was favoured by critics and spawned three singles: "Set You Free", "Hard Row" which was featured in the pilot episode for the FX tv show Sons of Anarchy and a cover of Richard Berry's "Have Love, Will Travel". The other cover was Junior Kimbrough's "Everywhere I Go". "Set You Free" was featured on the soundtrack for School of Rock, as well as the 2009 comedy I Love You, Man.
The band released a split-EP with The Six Parts Seven on September 16, 2003, titled The Six Parts Seven/The Black Keys EP and featured one song by The Six Parts Seven and three songs by The Black Keys.