Apr 15, 2021
By Joey Arnone
Photography by Joshua Black Wilkins
The Black Keys (Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney) have announced a new album, Delta Kream, which will be out on May 14 via Nonesuch. It will consist of covers of 11 Mississippi hill country blues standards that have influenced the duo growing up. They have shared the album’s lead single, a cover of John Lee Hooker’s “Crawling Kingsnake.” Listen below, and check out the album’s cover art and tracklist as well.
Delta Kream, named after an iconic Mississippi photograph by William Eggleston which is featured on the cover, was recorded in Auerbach’s Easy Eye Sound studio in Nashville alongside musicians Kenny Brown and Eric Deaton.
Auerbach speaks about the album in a press release: “We made this record to honor the Mississippi hill country blues tradition that influenced us starting out. These songs are still as important to us today as they were the first day Pat and I started playing together and picked up our instruments. It was a very inspiring session with Pat and me along with Kenny Brown and Eric Deaton in a circle, playing these songs. It felt so natural.”
Carney adds: “The session was planned only days in advance and nothing was rehearsed. We recorded the entire album in about ten hours, over two afternoons, at the end of the ‘Let’s Rock’ tour.”
Auerbach also talks about the new cover: “I first heard [John Lee] Hooker’s version in high school. My uncle Tim would have given me that record. But our version is definitely Junior Kimbrough’s take on it. It’s almost a disco riff!” Carney adds, “We fell into this drum intro; it’s kind of accidental. The ultimate goal was to highlight the interplay between the guitars. My role with Eric was to create a deeper groove.”
The band’s most recent album, “Let’s Rock”, came out in 2019 on Easy Eye Sound/Nonesuch.
Delta Kream Tracklist:
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.)