The Black Keys Honor Their Blues Roots With 'Delta Kream' Covers Album

By Katrina Nattress

April 15, 2021

The Black Keys are paying homage to their blues roots with their 10th studio album Delta Kream — a covers collection of Mississippi hill country blues standards, featuring songs by R.L. Burnside, Junior Kimbrough, and other artists who have deeply influenced the duo.

“We made this record to honor the Mississippi hill country blues tradition that influenced us starting out," guitarist/vocalist Dan Auerbach explained in a statement. "These songs are still as important to us today as they were the first day Pat and I started playing together and picked up our instruments. It was a very inspiring session with Pat and me along with Kenny Brown and Eric Deaton in a circle, playing these songs. It felt so natural.”

“The session was planned only days in advance and nothing was rehearsed," drummer Patrick Carney added. "We recorded the entire album in about ten hours, over two afternoons, at the end of the 'Let’s Rock’ tour.” 

On Thursday (April 15), The Black Keys shared "Crawling Kingsnake," their first single off Delta Kream. The track is a cover of the 1920s Delta blues song, “Crawling King Snake,” which was famously covered by John Lee Hooker in 1949.

“I first heard [John Lee] Hooker’s version in high school. My uncle Tim would have given me that record. But our version is definitely Junior Kimbrough’s take on it. It’s almost a disco riff!” Auerbach said of the song.

Delta Kream is slated for a May 14 release. Listen to "Crawling Kingsnake" above and check out the album art and tracklist below.

Delta Kream Track Listing

Crawling Kingsnake (John Lee Hooker / Bernard Besman)

Louise (Fred McDowell)

Poor Boy a Long Way From Home (Robert Lee Burnside)

Stay All Night (David Kimbrough, Jr.)

Going Down South (Robert Lee Burnside)

Coal Black Mattie (Ranie Burnette)

Do the Romp (David Kimbrough, Jr.)

Sad Days, Lonely Nights (David Kimbrough, Jr.)

Walk with Me (David Kimbrough, Jr.)

Mellow Peaches (Joseph Lee Williams)

Come on and Go with Me (David Kimbrough, Jr.)

Photo: Joshua Black Wilkins

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