Crawling Kingsnake – The Black Keys

Do you remember when The Black Keys arrived on the scene and kept life simple by playing guitar and drums driven blues music with soulful howling vocals?

Well they got pretty big after The Come Up and Thickfreakness landed them in the middle of NME’s patented New Rock Revolution and they rode out of that particular pony patch into danceable indie like they made on Brothers and El Camino. They wen’t into Hip-Hop and production and being all bling and cool with Mos Def and co on BlakRoc and into production with Ray Lamontagne, Lana Del Rey, Grace Potter and A$AP Rocky to name just a few of the dozens of acts Dan and or Patrick have played in/with/over/under and around.

They never strayed far from the blues though. It was central to almost everything they did. People come to them for the blues. The groove. The walk. “Fuck the white keys the black ones got so much soul” as one of thier many collaborators has put it in the past.

Well hot off the press and on the back of last years tenth studio album Let’s Rock comes a double A Side digital single of two blues standards played smooth and soulful and just full of that Thickfreakness that felt so good first time around. This release makes up the preview tracks for album number eleven Delta Kream.

Going Down South is the A-side and it’s mellow groove is only ever disturbed by what I can only describe as a creamy Claptonian crunk of a solo. Originally recorded by R. L Burnside many a band has taken a stab at the cool groove and hypno rhythm that makes it such a seductive boogie.

I’m picking Crawling Kingsnake to showcase here today though because of John Lee Hooker, The Doors, David Homeboy Edwards and John Hammond. I’m also citing Fear Itself, Johnny Young, Sweetead, John Primer, Son Lewis & Ellen McIlwaine. Every blues band worth their salt does a version of this track. And now The Black Keys have laid down their take. And it’s a righteous slink. A crawl on the belly, with hips like a racing snake and a forked tongue. They’re clearly having a ball sliding up and down the line on this one. That’s what it’s all about.

6 thoughts on “Crawling Kingsnake – The Black Keys

  1. Steve, new bluesy album by The Black Keys called Delta Kream is on its way. Some fans might be disappointed with the new single, but I can’t wait to hear it in context to the rest of the album. Love that it sounds like it’s going to be stripped back.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes! I’ve been listening to a bit of this, I loved El Camino and it’s so easy to place a band (in your head) like The Black Keys in a bracket, but then my brain woke up a bit and am very intrigued by what’s coming up, it’s good to expand!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I’m looking forward to this one. Probably the most I’ve looked forward to a Black Keys album in a while. Makes me want to listen to their Kimbrough tribute. That’s the Black Keys I dig.

    Liked by 1 person

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