As an editor at GuitarWorld.com, I listen to tons o' music -- all sorts of weird stuff. One day in the summer, I even found myself listening to an album made by a bunch of nuns chanting in Latin. I'm still not sure why that happened. Anyway, the point is, amid the beatings my ear drums withstand on a daily basis, it's easy to choose my favorite albums of the year; they're the ones I found myself listening to over and over again.
Last week, the Black Keys released their seventh album, El Camino, to wide-spread acclaim and enthusiastic fan reception. I'm sure four car commercials were spawned based just on the first single, “Lonely Boy.” Invariably, the band is compared to that other bombastic two-piece who made rawk with blues infusions back in the 2000s. You know the one; they helped bring back rock and roll. That other one with a color in their name and only two people in the band.
Although they often have been compared to The White Stripes, they are of a grungier variety, exuding much of what rock should be, simple and rough. Their first two albums were recorded in Carney’s basement on an eight-track tape recorder. Their debut album, The Big Come Up, received great reviews; from there, the band signed with Fat Possum Records.
Moreland & Arbuckle have been exploring the depths of Delta blues fused with rock, folk, country and soul for 10 years now, a journey that took them to Iraq to play for troops in 2008 and on tours with George Thorogood, ZZ Top, Buddy Guy and Jonny Lang.
Head to NPR.org today for the First Listen full-album stream of Rave On Buddy Holly, a Buddy Holly tribute album featuring tracks by Paul McCartney, My Morning Jacket, Fiona Apple, Cee Lo Green, The Black Keys, Florence + The Machine, She & Him, Modest Mouse, Julian Casablancas, Lou Reed, Patti Smith, Nick Lowe and more.