The Black Keys Slinky Fuzzed Out Tones
The Black Keys have become figureheads of twenty-first century guitar rock by combing the back roads of twentieth century blues and infusing it with fuzzed out bong water riffs. Sounds simple? It is and it isn’t. For every band that copies the same formula there are only a handful that can elevate the same old sounds to something new and fresh. Like the now defunct White Stripes, The Black Keys have taken a few simple ingredients of the rock and roll cookbook and made them their own. Slinky riffs and simple to the point drumbeats create a platform for singer guitarist Dan Auerbach to showcase his take on American rock and roll songbook.
With the release of Brothers in 2010 the Black Keys have cemented themselves as a true rock band in a world of shallow half assed groups that lack imagination. With four Grammy nominations under their belt, the Black Keys have climbed the ladder or success through hard work and no nonsense music. Not bad for a two piece band that recorded its first few records on homemade eight track.
So what does Auerbach use to create the riffs that are quickly becoming the blueprint for a generation of ax slingers who were born in the last fifteen years and might not have the patience in this technological ADD world to search for the old greats? Well, outside of the most important piece of equipment any guitarist will ever use, their fingers, Auerbach relies on a plethora of guitars and effects to achieve the sounds he hears in his brain.
As far as guitars go Auerbach is fond of vintage models. He has used and abused a Gibson Firebird VII, Fender Jerry Donahue Telecasters with Dimarzio twin-blade humbuckers, Teisco Del Ray guitars, White 70’s Ibanez lawsuit SG with Maestro tremolo, Ibanez lawsuit red Flying V, a Silvertone 1454, a Harmony H77, Harmony Stratotone H47, Gibson Les Paul Standard and an Eastwood Airline Tuxedo.
The Black Keys guitarist uses lots of various effects pedals throughout the bands career. Auerbach’s effect list is extensive and always growing. Here is a peek into the effects the guitarist often employs.
Analogman Sunface Fuzz
Arion analog delay
Boss RV-5 Reverb
EathQuaker Devices Hoof Fuzz
Electro-Harmonix Deluxe Memory Man
Foxx tone machine
Fulltone Tube Tape Echo
Rehoused Jordan Bosstone Fuzz
Line 6 Tonecore Echo Park
Maestro MFZ Fuzz-tone
Electro-Harmonix Russian Big Muff
Fulltone SoulBender (which was discontinued on 2007)
Dan Auerbach relies on Fender 70’s Twin Reverbs and ’65 Twin Reverb Reissues for his amplifiers. The guitarist also uses Marshall JTM-45 and Marshall 1959HW amps with 4x12 slant cab and 8x10 Marshall cabinets. Auerbach has often used Ampeg B12XT 2X12 combo amps, Hiwatt heads and a Fender Blues Junior.
For a two-piece band it is no wonder that Auerbach uses a multitude of effects to take up space in what is essentially a guitar and drum duo. Yet it should not be forgotten that Auerbach uses the effects to convey the sounds he hears in his head and not merely to create a cacophony of noise to cover up gaps in sound. Much thanks to radio923fm.radio.com for their listing of Dan Auerbach’s rig.
Blog Post by E.M.Kaplan