I’m still pissed off that I wasn’t able
to go back to New Orleans last week to enjoy another French Quarter Festival. My wife and friends had so much fun last year
that we couldn’t wait to go back. But it
was postponed until October because this damned COVID-19 has us locked down!
Locked down? Yeah, locked down.
Down” is from Dr. John’s 2012 album of the same title. The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach produced the set
and added his own brew of dirty guitar riffs, vocals, and percussion. This was the next to last album the good Dr.
released before his passing last June.
So, thank you, Dr. John, for giving me a
little of that swampy Nola funk to help me get through this coronavirus shut
As we get close to the yearend I start to think about some of my favorite albums of the last 12 months. One of the recordings on my list for 2015 is Yours, Dreamily by The Arcs.
The Arcs is a side project by The Black Keys front man, Dan Auerbach. The restless Auerbach – he’s also kept busy by producing albums for Dr. John and Lana Del Rey – pursued this to fill two weeks he suddenly had on his hands after Black Keys bandmate Patrick Carney separated his shoulder, forcing some tour date cancellations. (Auerbach also produced Bombino’s 2013 album Nomad, featured as the SotW August 31, 2013.)
For The Arcs, Pitchfork reported that Auerbach recruited “Truth and Soul Records founder Leon Michels, Black Keys touring bassist Richard Swift, Menahan Street Band member Homer Steinweiss, Amy Winehouse collaborator Nick Movshon, and guitarist Kenny Vaughan.”
This larger group allows Auerbach the space to “do his thing” outside the confines of the two piece, guitarist/drummer limitation he faces with The Black Keys. And it works. The basic DNA of the “Keys” is still there but the songs have more depth with the added instruments.
Today’s SotW is “Outta My Mind.”
Selecting this cut, the album opener (after a short instrumental intro), is a little bit of a cop out since it is the song that sounds most like The Black Keys – albeit with more instrumental depth and a tighter arrangement.
I heard I lost my self-control
But everything I did just went and turned to gold
and I’m old enough to know the game
But pushing buttons now is all that keeps me sane
Clearly he has something to say about his own success in “the business.”
The rest of the album breaks out of this blues/garage rock mold and is worth checking out.