ALBUM HONORS MUSIC OF MISSISSIPPI HILL COUNTRY BLUES, R. L. BURNSIDE & JUNIOR KIMBROUGH, AMONG OTHERS WHO HAVE INFLUENCED THE BLACK KEYS
“Thick, swampy sonics created by the four players as they weave these licks together with the intensity and sheer love of the music that clearly runs through their veins… if enough Keys fans are encouraged to explore the originals, this project will have accomplished its mission.”
– American Songwriter
“A tribute to the roots and blues music they were raised on, featuring some of its most formative players… a slow-rolling swagger through a bygone era, gilded by the band’s own faithful imitations… a living history lesson, too.” – Entertainment Weekly
The Black Keys release Delta Kream via Nonesuch Records today. The album celebrates the band’s roots and features eleven Mississippi hill country blues songs by R. L. Burnside and Junior Kimbrough, among others. Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney recorded Delta Kream at Auerbach’s Easy Eye Sound studio in Nashville. The album takes its name from William Eggleston’s iconic Mississippi photograph that is on its cover. Delta Kream is available for purchase on all formats here. The band revealed an exclusive first listen of the album to their fan club, The Lonely Boys and Girls Club, on Tuesday. Fans can join for free and gain access to special bonus content, exclusive merch bundles, and much more.
The band plays “Going Down South” on Later… With Jools Holland tonight, a performance filmed at Auerbach’s Easy Eye Sound studio in Nashville and featuring musicians Kenny Brown and Eric Deaton, long-time members of the bands of blues legends including R. L. Burnside and Junior Kimbrough. The band will also perform “Crawling Kingsnake” and “Going Down South” on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert tonight. Their performances were filmed in Mississippi at Jimmy Duck Holmes’ Blue Front Café, which is the oldest active juke joint in America.
The music from northern Mississippi, which came to life in juke joints, has long left an imprint on the band’s music, from their cover of Burnside’s “Busted” and Kimbrough’s “Do The Romp” on their debut album, The Big Come Up, to their subsequent signing to Fat Possum Records, home to many of their musical heroes, to their EP of Junior Kimbrough covers, Chulahoma.
The Black Keys also have announced that they will partner with the Save The Music Foundation to support elementary and middle school music programs in Mississippi —starting with Holly Springs. Every Save The Music school commits to having music for at least ten years, and most of the programs last far beyond that. The band shares about the program: “We’ve teamed up with Save The Music – a national non-profit dedicated to building school music programs – and a group of local Mississippi partners to contribute instruments and teacher support to schools in the Hill Country. The goal is to grow music programs across the state, starting this coming school year with Holly Springs.”
Additionally, The Black Keys are working with VisitMississippi, the state’s tourism organization, to commission two new markers for Burnside and Kimbrough, on the Mississippi Blues Trail, which tell the stories of blues artists both renowned and obscure through words and images. Markers will be erected in the proposed locations of Holly Springs and Chulahoma, MS, places closely associated with R. L. Burnside and Junior Kimbrough. These two new individual markers are a fitting tribute to these architects of hill country blues and further recognize their enduring contributions to American music. (Burnside and Kimbrough are currently acknowledged on a group marker in Holly Springs entitled “Hill Country Blues.”) More information about the Mississippi Blues Trail is available here.
The band recently released a music video for “Going Down South”. Like the video for Delta Kream’s first single, “Crawling Kingsnake”, “Going Down South” features other notable northern Mississippi blues landmarks including Blues Alley in Holly Springs (hometown of Junior Kimbrough) and shots of Como (home to Mississippi Fred McDowell); the Chulahoma community, The Burnside Palace, and Aikei Pro’s record shop. Listen to the track and watch its video, directed by Ryan Nadzam, here.
Formed in Akron, Ohio in 2001, The Black Keys, who have been called “rock royalty” by the Associated Press and “one of the best rock ‘n’ roll bands on the planet” by Uncut, are guitarist/singer Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney. Cutting their teeth playing small clubs, the band have gone on to sell out arena tours and have released nine previous studio albums: their debut The Big Come Up (2002), followed by Thickfreakness (2003) and Rubber Factory (2004), along with their releases on Nonesuch Records, Magic Potion (2006), Attack & Release (2008), Brothers (2010), El Camino (2011), Turn Blue (2014) and, most recently, Let’s Rock (2019), plus and a tenth anniversary edition of Brothers (2020). The band has won six Grammy Awards and a BRIT and headlined festivals in North America, South America, Mexico, Australia, and Europe.
Delta Kream Track Listing:
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.)