Various Artists - Black on Blues (A Tribute to the Black Keys) (Music CD)

Release Date: 13 August 2012
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Over the years, Cleopatra has made it something of a specialty of theirs to release tribute albums to popular artists, but 2012's Black on Blues: A Tribute to the Black Keys feels a little different than its predecessors -- not as rushed, almost bordering on the carefully considered. Of course, that impression may just be a reflection of the presence of the Iggy Pop and Ginger Baker duet on "Lonely Boy," a collaboration that pays back some dividends as the melody is perfectly suited for Iggy and Ginger swings with nonchalant assurance. It is the performance that's least concerned with the blues but it's not the only noteworthy performance, odd pairing, or comeback, either: Dave Davies teams up with Huw Lloyd-Langton for "Money Maker" and Jackie Lomax comes out for "Dead and Gone." Almost everybody involved sticks to songs from Brothers and El Camino, stripping away whatever interesting sonic flourishes the Keys or Danger Mouse laid upon the originals, concentrating on the bluesy core. Naturally, there is a lot more guitar here than on the Black Keys versions -- and the guitar tends not to be the kind of fuzz explosions Dan Auerbach favors; instead, it's a lot of cleanly articulated Stratocaster picking and overdriven tube amps -- and although it paints the Black Keys as a little more traditional than they actually are, it's generally agreeable stuff apart from the occasional gut-busting vocal (see Pat Travers' exaggerated "Everlasting Light"). And that may not be the same thing as necessary or interesting, but Black on Blues is something that most Cleopatra comps of this nature are not: it's enjoyable. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Release Date: 13 August 2012

1. Lonely Boy - Baker, Ginger
2. Tighten Up - Trout, Walter
3. Next Girl - Oli Brown Band
4. Money Maker - Davies, Dave
5. Girl Is on My Mind - Neville, Cyril
6. Howlin' for You - Lee, Albert
7. Little Black Submarines - Neumeier, Mani
8. Everlasting Light - Travers, Pat
9. Gold on the Ceiling - Benoit, Tab
10. I Got Mine - West, Leslie
11. Chop and Change - McCray, Larry
12. I'll Be Your Man - Kershaw, Doug
13. Dead and Gone - Lomax, Jackie
14. When the Lights Go Out - Papa Mali

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Catalogue No: CLPCD8727