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Dan Auerbach: Keep It Hid

 

B+

Dan Auerbach

Album: Keep It Hid
Label: Nonesuch

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As guitarist and voice of The Black Keys, Dan Auerbach has found considerable success dirtying up the blues in new ways. While that band’s minimalist stomp has been running into—some might say running through—some creative walls recently, Auerbach has kept busy on the side, excavating other American sounds even deeper on his own. Keep It Hid, his first collection of solo recordings, never strays too far from the plaque-covered crackle of his day-job riffs; when it does, the well-worn results flirt with rootsy perfection. Recorded live with the muscle of a full band at Auerbach’s home studio in Akron, Ohio, Keep It Hid boasts textures and layers his voice hasn’t reached before. Requisite roadhouse burners like “Street Walkin” and “My Last Mistake” benefit tenfold, but the strummers and hummers hit hardest. The opener, “Trouble Weighs A Ton,” is a spare, immediate departure whose back-porch harmonies bottle a quiet magic equaled only by the finger-picked sighs of “When The Night Comes” or the gospel-organ-to-gut-punch guitar runs of “Real Desire.”