vrijdag 21 mei 2021

Delta Kream. The Black Keys

Did I expect much from a The Black Keys blues cover album? No, of course not. More like a cover up for a lack of inspiration to come up with relevant new material and, most likely a pleasant but non-essential listen to some nice blues playing. Although I can't discount the lack of inspiration or writer's block, all the other up front inhibitions fly out the window after listening to Delta Kream. The Black Keys are on a roll and rock awhile too.

The most surprising thing is that, although I like the electric blues and especially Muddy Waters, a lot, I am not a fan of the North Mississippi variant of electric blues. Too repetitive to my liking. What The Black Keys present on Delta Kream grooves so superbly if not to write shatteringly, all that qualifies as competition is lain by the wayside. Totally irrelevant from of today. Just like The Rollin Stones did in 2016 with 'Blue & Lonesome'. Point made.

The sound and production of Delta Kream is one the original artist of most songs, Junior Kimbraugh, could not even dream of. This sound is so clear and yet so full. All can be heard in a superb way, while still thinking the music comes straight from a dirty swamp, humid, hot, fly and mosquito infested. The Hammond organ sneaking between the cracks of the songs like a snake through the cracks of a dilapidated home of a swampdweller. Dirtpoor, dirty, barefoot, torn dungarees. I can see it all in my mind, swigging beer at the jukejoint before driving home, drunk, along the swamproad in a beaten up, decades old pick up truck. One thing is for certain, if The Black Keys played that evening, a great time was had. If the average swampbilly does not prefer hiphop in 2021 that is. Something I can't discount unfortunately.

It's fantastic music The Black Keys presents on Delta Kream. The way some songs stop and start, suggests that the recordings were cut by friends making music together, finding the groove with ease, without bothering about professional starts and stops. In part this will be an illusion. A new The Black Keys record is big business. There's no denying there. The fact that the band is able to give the impression of a great jamsession, attests to the joy of playing all must have felt in the studio while recording the music they love and/or have played in the past with the original artist, like Kenny Brown (R.L. Burnside) and Eric Deaton (Junior Kimbraugh).

It has been a while since a new blues record got to me. 'Blue and Lonesome' was the last one in fact. With Delta Kream another blues favourite is added to my list. But not just that. I'd be surprised if it can not be found on my list of favourite albums of 2021. Let's groove awhile!

Wout de Natris

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