Beginnings of something great, the Black Keys, and a Tipping Point


I used to frequent a message board a few years back, well way back actually called TooBadJim, named so for the R.L. Burnside album whose theme was Hill Country Punk Blues or basically stuff that kicks A#$! There were several folks on there talking all kinds of craziness but all with a zeal and love for the Hill Country Blues. One particular poster was a young man from Ohio named Dan Aurebach. Many of you might know Dan as the lead singer of a little band called the Black Keys.

I use this to illustrate a point. Recently there was an article in the Nashville Scene about the Black Keys moving there and what a big deal it was to the “Nashville Rock Scene”, an argument I have never understood but more on that later, and how cool it was to have them in the town. I think Nashville is the coolest town in the USA but I am prejudice because I am from Tennessee. I can see why the town is excited. The Black Keys are at the “tipping point” as Malcolm Gladwell would point out if they has been at this point when he published the book by the same name.

Within this article are comments from those who watched the thing tip over first hand. They went from a struggling touring band to where they are now and they did it the old fashioned way, touring their butts off for 10+years, doing interesting projects, and, most of all, releasing really good music. I like their stuff and have been listening for a long time.
If you are an up and comer reading this realize there were some hard roads to get to where they are now. If you are even considering these roads bear in mind that they are not for the faint of heart. I cracked up because they are almost a text book example of “it take 10 years to be an overnight success.” Remember that they put the miles in there and were willing to do the things necessary to get to a point that they can make great music and a living doing so. I applaud them and hope they keep popping it to the world even for the simple reason that I can say “see, see I told you they were good” and that they are so much different than the majority of “music” that is being shoved out there.

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