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The Black Keys Live- New Cds- Magic Potion, Chulahoma

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Recently LA had the honor of hosting the rough and tumble stylings of indie blues gems The Black Keys. The Keys are currently working the road, preaching the good word of their new album Magic Potion. They've also recently released an EP entitled Chulahoma, which is a series of covers originally performed by Junior Kimbrough, the blues pioneer who inspired The Keys sound.

As a hardened Keys fan, I have to say seeing them live is truly the way in which their music is meant to be experienced. The visceral tenacity with which they attack each song leaves you weak, torn down by their vicious tone and blustering rhythms. However, a common criticism regarding The Keys is that there is a definite redundancy to their sound. Given that they are a two-piece band, one can expect a certain likeness in all their songs when performed live, yet when listening to their new releases, the same critique holds true. When it works, their sound is a tantric mantra of blues persuasion, when it doesn’t, it plays as parallel riffs of overly familiar territory.

Their release prior to their two newest albums, Rubber Factory, showcased their ability to write and produce songs that run the gamut from lilting serine melodies, to step-on-your-neck rock. In truth, if they had opted to take the best songs from Chulahoma and Magic Potion, and combined the two, the release would be the highest benchmark of their career. That’s because of songs like “You’re The One” on Magic Potion, and “Meet Me In The City” on Chulahoma, that cut to the core of the passion that drives the Keys.

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After all is said and done, both albums are must haves for anyone who is interested in listening to the present keepers of authentic blues; and if you ever get bored with recorded Keys, buy yourself a ticket to their show and let the sound splinter your bones and quake your soul.