Dan Auerbach

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Dan Auerbach
Dan Auerbach performing with the Black Keys.jpg
Auerbach playing with The Black Keys in Tulsa, 2012.
Background information
Birth nameDaniel Quine Auerbach
Born (1979-05-14) May 14, 1979 (age 40)
Akron, Ohio, U.S.
  • Musician
  • singer
  • songwriter
  • record producer
  • Vocals
  • guitar
  • bass
  • piano
  • keyboards
  • drums
  • percussion
  • lap steel
Years active1999–present
Associated acts
Website easyeyesound.com

Daniel Quine Auerbach (born May 14, 1979) is an American musician, singer-songwriter, and record producer, best known as the guitarist and vocalist of the Black Keys, a blues rock band from Akron, Ohio. [1] As a member of the group, Auerbach has recorded and co-produced eleven studio albums with his bandmate Patrick Carney. Auerbach has also released two solo albums, Keep It Hid (2009) Waiting on a Song (2017), and formed a side project, the Arcs, which released the album Yours, Dreamily, in 2015. [2]


Auerbach owns the Easy Eye Sound recording studio in Nashville, Tennessee, as well as a record label of the same name. He has produced records by artists such as Cage the Elephant, Dr. John, Lana Del Rey, Ray LaMontagne, Jake Bugg, and the Pretenders. In addition to winning several Grammy Awards as a member of the Black Keys, Auerbach received the 2013 Grammy Award for Producer of the Year, Non-Classical and was nominated again for the award in 2019.

Childhood and early life

Auerbach was born in Ohio, and is the son of Mary Little (née Quine; b. about 1948), a teacher of French, and Charles Auerbach (b. about 1950), an antique dealer. [3] His father is of Polish Jewish descent [3] and his mother is of part Manx descent. [4] His maternal cousin, twice removed, was philosopher and logician Willard Van Orman Quine, and his second cousin once removed was the late guitarist Robert Quine. Auerbach grew up in a family with musical roots. Auerbach became infatuated with blues after listening to his father's old vinyl records during his childhood, his first concert was Whitney Houston with his mother at the Blossom Music Center in Cuyahoga Falls, OH. His second concert was a Grateful Dead show with his father at the Richfield Coliseum in Cleveland. [5] [6] [7] He was influenced early-on by his mother's side of the family, notably his uncles who played bluegrass music.

Auerbach described himself as a normal teenager in high school who smoked marijuana and captained the soccer team at Firestone High School. [8] He attended University of Akron. During college Auerbach was heavily influenced by Junior Kimbrough, eventually resulting in his dropping out to pursue the guitar more seriously. "I've listened to him so much, it's just how I hear it... I studied him so much... Getting F's in college, when I should've been studying, I was listening to Junior Kimbrough's music instead". [9] Other major influences include: Robert Johnson, R.L. Burnside, Clarence White, Robert Nighthawk, T-Model Ford, Hound Dog Taylor, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Kokomo Arnold, Son House and RZA of the Wu-Tang Clan.

The Black Keys

Auerbach is best known for his work with The Black Keys. Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney first met when they were eight or nine years old while living in the same neighborhood of Akron, Ohio. [10] Carney is the nephew of saxophonist Ralph Carney, who performed on several Tom Waits albums. [11] While attending Firestone High School, Carney and Auerbach became friends, [10] though they were part of different crowds. [12] Auerbach was captain of the high school soccer team, while Carney was a social outcast. [13] Encouraged by their brothers, the duo began jamming together in 1996, as Auerbach was learning guitar at the time and Carney owned a four-track recorder and a drum set. [14] [15]

In an interview with Rolling Stone, the duo revealed that their big start came from a demo-recording session in Carney's basement. Auerbach initially went to record a demo with his band at the time but no one showed up. He and Carney then decided that they would just play instead. What came out of that session was ultimately sent out to several labels to try to secure a record deal. [16]

After signing with indie label Alive, they released their debut album, The Big Come Up in 2002, which earned them a new deal with jazz/rock label Fat Possum Records. Their third album Rubber Factory was released in 2004 and received critical acclaim; it boosted the band's profile, eventually leading to a record deal with major label Nonesuch Records in 2006. After self-producing and recording their first four records in makeshift studios, in 2008 the duo completed Attack & Release in a professional studio and hired producer Danger Mouse, a frequent collaborator with the band.[ citation needed ]

The group's commercial breakthrough came in 2010 with Brothers , which along with its popular single "Tighten Up", won three Grammy Awards including Best Alternative Album of the Year. Their 2011 follow-up El Camino received strong reviews and reached number two on the Billboard 200 chart, leading to the first arena concert tour of the band's career, the El Camino Tour. The album and its hit single "Lonely Boy" won three Grammy Awards. In 2014, they released their eighth album, Turn Blue , their first number-one record in the US, Canada, and Australia.

In 2011 the Black Keys became one of only a couple of bands in Saturday Night Live's history to appear as the musical guest twice in one year. They played the January 8th episode as well as the December 3rd episode.

After the touring for Turn Blue was concluded, Auerbach and Carney decided to take a break from The Black Keys. Both Auerbach and Carney have been on record talking about needing a break from the constant working process. Carney said "I love making music with Dan and I'm excited for when we do that next, and we will do it. But both of us have PTSD from being on the road constantly". [17] Auerbach also added "You can't just keep doing it, because it'll suck your brain dry". [18]

Other performances and bands

The Barnburners

Auerbach was a member of a band called The Barnburners before forming The Black Keys in 2001. [19] The Barnburners included Auerbach, Jason Edwards and Kip Amore. [19] The Barnburners were a blues-based band that performed in Northeast Ohio clubs and released a 6-track album called The Rawboogie EP. [19] The album includes the Junior Kimbrough song "Meet Me in the City", which Auerbach later covered with The Black Keys on their Chulahoma tribute studio album. [19]

Dan Auerbach and the Fast Five playing the Beachland Ballroom in Cleveland, Ohio on March 5, 2009. DanAuerbachBeachlandBallroom2009.jpg
Dan Auerbach and the Fast Five playing the Beachland Ballroom in Cleveland, Ohio on March 5, 2009.

The Fast Flive

The band "Fast Flive" toured with Auerbach in 2009. The Fast Flive's other members drew from the band Hacienda and percussionist Patrick Hallahan from My Morning Jacket. [20] [21] [22] [23] The original percussionist, Bob Cesare, was unable to perform with the Fast Flive because of a death in his family. [24]

Auerbach and fellow Black Keys member Patrick Carney met the members of Hacienda at a club, Emo's, in Austin, Texas while watching a band during the Austin City Limits Music Festival. [25] Upon seeing one of the Hacienda band members hit on an intoxicated woman, Carney walked over and leaned in saying, "Dude, trust me, that's a bad idea." [25] After becoming acquainted with each other, Auerbach e-mailed Hacienda a month later asking for more demos, which eventually led them to being asked to open for The Black Keys and Dr. Dog at a show in Austin, Texas. [25] Afterward, Auerbach asked Hacienda to travel to Akron, Ohio where they would be his "guinea pigs" while recording Keep It Hid . [25]


Blakroc was a studio album and collaboration by Auerbach and Carney of The Black Keys and Damon Dash, co-founder and former co-owner of Roc-A-Fella Records, who oversaw the project. The album featured a plethora of guest appearances from several indie and popular hip hop and R&B acts, namely Mos Def, Nicole Wray, Pharoahe Monch, Ludacris, Billy Danze of M.O.P., Q-Tip of A Tribe Called Quest, Jim Jones and NOE of ByrdGang, as well as Raekwon, RZA and the late Ol' Dirty Bastard of Wu-Tang Clan. [26]

The Arcs

Back in 2015, Auerbach announced the formation of a new musical group known as The Arcs. Auerbach said about the band: "'I just wanted to do my thing and get extra weird. I wanted everything to flow [and] be cohesive. It's basically everything I love about music all wrapped up into one record'". [27]

The debut album was released later in the summer of 2015 called "Yours, Dreamily,".

During the Bataclan Theatre massacre, Auerbach and his band The Arcs were performing at the similarly-sized nearby venue, Le Trianon. Auerbach subsequently stated, "I know people that were there last night. I know people who are like, ‘What am I gonna do -- see the Arcs or the Eagles of Death Metal?" And I've woken up feeling very out of sorts. What do you call it, survivor's remorse? Why the hell did it happen there and not where we were playing? I'm just so brokenhearted about all those people." [28]

On July 3rd, 2018, Richard Swift, the multi-instrumentalist and singer/songwriter who was a member of the Arcs, passed away at the age of 41. Swift and Auerbach were very close friends with Auerbach describing Swift as "one of the most talented musicians I know". [29]

Awards and honors

The Black Keys' 2010 album, Brothers, won three Grammy awards. At the 2013 Grammy Awards, Auerbach won the award for Producer of the Year, Non-Classical. [30]

Also at the 2013 Grammy Awards, Auerbach won the award for Best Rock Song for his song "Lonely Boy", Best Rock Performance for "Lonely Boy", and Best Rock Album for "El Camino". [31]

In 2010, he joined the 9th annual Independent Music Awards judging panel to assist independent musicians' careers.

Personal life

Auerbach first married Stephanie Gonis, with whom he has a daughter, Sadie Little Auerbach, born in 2008. [32] In 2013 they were divorced. [32]

Auerbach married Jen Goodall in 2015. They have a son named Early Auerbach. [33]

Auerbach, Patrick Carney, and Jack White have been involved in several public feuds. The roots of the conflict date back to 2012, when White banned Auerbach from his Nashville studio. They have since made amends and are now on good terms. [34] [35] [36]

In 2010, Auerbach moved from Akron, Ohio to Nashville, Tennessee. He moved his record label "Easy Eye Sound" and bought a studio as soon as he moved into town. Auerbach has described Nashville as not just being "a little tourist music spot" but much more. As Auerbach grew older he realized Nashville was "the spot I wanted to go to. There's the most music that I felt a connection to". [37]


Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys playing at Music Midtown in 2011 Dan Auerbach of Black Keys at Music Midtown 2011.jpg
Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys playing at Music Midtown in 2011
Solo albums
Solo singles
with The Black Keys
with Blakroc
with The Arcs

Musical collaborations

SSM EP1 Recorded, Engineered2006
SSM SSMRecorded, Engineered2006
Patrick Sweany C'mon C'mereGuitar on "One More Time"2006
Brimstone Howl Guts of SteelProducer, engineer, mixer2007
John Doe A Year in the WildernessGuitar2007
Nathaniel Mayer Why Don't You Give It To MeCo-producer, co-mixer, Guitar, Drums, Vocals2007
Radio Moscow Radio MoscowProducer, engineer, mixer, Acoustic Guitar2007
Patrick Sweany Every Hour Is a Dollar GoneProducer, engineer, mixer2007
Black Diamond Heavies A Touch of Someone Else's Class Producer, engineer, mixer2008
Buffalo Killers Let It Ride Producer, engineer, mixer2008
HaciendaLoud Is The NightProducer, engineer, mixer, BG Vocals, Guitar2008
Jessica Lea Mayfield With Blasphemy So HeartfeltProducer, engineer, Mixer, arranger, Acoustic and Electric Guitars, Bass, Drums, BG Vocals, Piano, Synthesizer, Hammond Organ, Toy Piano, Lap Steel, Percussion2008
The Ettes Danger Is EPProducer, engineer, mixer2009
The Ettes Do You Want PowerProducer, engineer, mixer, Piano on "No Home"2009
Nathaniel Mayer Why Won't You Let Me Be Black?Co-producer, co-mixer, Guitar, Vocals2009
HaciendaBig Red & BarbacoaProducer, engineer, mixer2010
Cadillac Sky Letters in the DeepProducer, engineer, mixer, Waterphone, Vocals2010
Parting Gifts Strychnine DandelionGuitar2010
Shivering Timbers We All Started in the Same PlaceProducer, engineer, Drums, mixer2010
Jessica Lea Mayfield Tell Me Drum Loop, engineer, Guitar (Acoustic), Moog Synthesizer, producer, Vocals2011
Brian Olive Two of EverythingEngineer, Mixing, producer, BG Vocals2011
Reigning Sound Abdication... For Your Love Producer2011
Dr. John Locked Down Producer, Guitar, Percussion & Background Vocals2012
Hacienda Shakedown Producer2012
JEFF the Brotherhood Hypnotic Nights Mixing, producer, BG Vocals2012
Grace Potter & the Nocturnals The Lion the Beast the Beat Composer, Handclapping, producer, Vocals2012
The Growlers Hung at HeartProducer2013
Hanni El Khatib Head in the DirtProducer, Bass, Guitar, Background Vocals, Percussion2013
Bombino NomadProducer2013
Connie Britton The Music of Nashville: Season 1 Volume 2 Producer, guitar and vocals on "Bitter Memory"2013
Valerie June Pushin' Against a Stone Co-producer, guitar and vocals on "Wanna Be On Your Mind"2013
Ray LaMontagne Supernova Producer2014
Lana Del Rey Ultraviolence Producer, handclaps, shaker, electric guitar, 12-string acoustic guitar, synthesizer2014
Nikki Lane All or Nothin Producer2014
Lee Fields Emma JeanGuitar, vocals2014
Cage the Elephant Tell Me I'm Pretty Producer and co-writer on "Trouble"2015
A$AP Rocky At. Long. Last. ASAP Guitar2015
The Pretenders AloneProducer, guitar2016
Robert Finley Goin' PlatinumProducer, composer, guitar2017
Jake Bugg Hearts That Strain Guitar2017
Shannon & The Clams OnionProducer2018
Sonny Smith Rod For Your LoveProducer2018
La Luz Floating FeaturesProducer2018
Shannon Shaw Shannon in NashvilleProducer, composer, guitar2018
Gibson Brothers MockingbirdProducer2018
Chuck AuerbachRemember MeGuitar, Producer2018
Dee White Southern GentlemanProducer2019
Night Beats Myth Of A ManProducer2019
Yola Walk Through Fire Producer2019
Leo Bud Welch The Angels In Heaven Done Signed My NameProducer2019
Kendell Marvel Solid Gold SoundsProducer2019
JIMMY “DUCK” HOLMES Cypress GroveProducer2019
Purple Mountains Purple MountainsCo-writer on "Maybe I'm the Only One for Me"2019
Marcus King El DoradoProducer2020
Early James Singing for my SupperProducer2020

Musical equipment


Auerbach at Madison Square Garden in 2012 Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys at MSG 3-22-12.jpg
Auerbach at Madison Square Garden in 2012



Related Research Articles

The Black Keys American rock band

The Black Keys is an American rock band formed in Akron, Ohio, in 2001. The group consists of Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney (drums). The duo began as an independent act, recording music in basements and self-producing their records, before they eventually emerged as one of the most popular garage rock artists during a second wave of the genre's revival in the 2010s. The band's raw blues rock sound draws heavily from Auerbach's blues influences, including Junior Kimbrough, Howlin' Wolf, and Robert Johnson.

<i>The Big Come Up</i> 2002 studio album by The Black Keys

The Big Come Up is the debut studio album by the American rock duo The Black Keys, released in May 14, 2002 on Alive Records.

Patrick Carney American musician

Patrick James Carney is an American musician and producer. Carney serves as the drummer for The Black Keys, a blues rock band from Akron, Ohio. He currently lives in Nashville, Tennessee.

<i>Thickfreakness</i> 2003 studio album by The Black Keys

Thickfreakness is the second studio album by American rock duo The Black Keys, released in 2003. It is their debut release for the Fat Possum record label, although in the UK and Europe it was co-released by Epitaph Records.

<i>Rubber Factory</i> 2004 studio album by The Black Keys

Rubber Factory is the third studio album by American rock duo The Black Keys. It was self-produced by the band and was released on September 7, 2004, on Fat Possum Records. The album was recorded in an abandoned tire-manufacturing factory in the group's hometown of Akron, Ohio. Rubber Factory received positive reviews and was the band's first album to chart on the Billboard 200 in the United States, reaching number 143.

<i>Chulahoma: The Songs of Junior Kimbrough</i> 2006 EP by The Black Keys

Chulahoma: The Songs of Junior Kimbrough is an EP by American rock duo The Black Keys. Essentially a tribute album, it is a collection of the band's cover versions of songs by Fat Possum Records bluesman Junior Kimbrough, who died in 1998. The title is a Choctaw word for red fox and is a reference to Chulahoma, Mississippi, location of "Junior's Place", a juke joint bought by Kimbrough around 1992 and operated after his death by his sons until it burned down on April 6, 2000

<i>Magic Potion</i> (album) 2006 studio album by The Black Keys

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Hard Row single by The Black Keys

"Hard Row" is a single by American blues-rock duo The Black Keys from their second album Thickfreakness. The song, along with the rest of Thickfreakness, was recorded in drummer Patrick Carney's basement on a 1980 8-track recorder. The lyrics were written by Chuck Auerbach and bandmember Dan Auerbach, and the music composed by both members of the band.

<i>Attack & Release</i> 2008 studio album by The Black Keys

Attack & Release is the fifth studio album by American rock duo The Black Keys. It was produced by Danger Mouse and was released on April 1, 2008. The sessions saw the band transitioning away from their "homemade" ethos to record-making; not only was it the first time that the band completed an album in a professional studio, but it was also the first time they hired an outside producer to work on a record.

<i>Keep It Hid</i> 2009 studio album by Dan Auerbach

Keep It Hid is the debut solo album by the American blues-rock musician Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys, released in 2009 on Nonesuch Records. The final track "Goin' Home" was included in the soundtrack of the 2009 film Up in the Air.

<i>Blakroc</i> 2009 studio album by The Black Keys

Blakroc is a studio album by American rock band The Black Keys, in collaboration with Damon Dash, co-founder and former co-owner of Roc-A-Fella Records, who oversaw the project. The album features guest appearances from several hip hop and R&B acts, namely Mos Def, Nicole Wray, Pharoahe Monch, Ludacris, Billy Danze of M.O.P., Q-Tip of A Tribe Called Quest, Jim Jones and NOE of ByrdGang, as well as Raekwon, RZA and the late Ol' Dirty Bastard of Wu-Tang Clan.

<i>Brothers</i> (The Black Keys album) 2010 studio album by The Black Keys

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Set You Free (The Black Keys song) 2003 song performed by The Black Keys

"Set You Free" is a single by American blues rock duo The Black Keys from their second album, Thickfreakness. It was recorded in Patrick Carney's basement at his old house in Akron, Ohio. The song appears in the film School of Rock (2003) and the soundtrack album, as well as in the film I Love You, Man.

Tighten Up (The Black Keys song) 2010 single by The Black Keys

"Tighten Up" is a song by American rock band The Black Keys. It is the third track on their 2010 album Brothers and was released as the record's first single on April 23, 2010. Dan Auerbach told The Sun how the song originated: "That was the last song we did for the record. We had a couple of days off and so did Brian and since we are friends and like hanging out with each other we thought it would be fun to go into the studio and see if we could come up with a tune. We always have a blast when the three of us get together."

Drummer was an American indie rock band from Akron, Ohio. The band was founded by The Black Keys' drummer Patrick Carney who plays bass guitar. All the members of the band are drummers in other groups from Ohio.

<i>El Camino</i> (The Black Keys album) 2011 studio album by The Black Keys

El Camino is the seventh studio album by American rock duo the Black Keys. It was co-produced by Danger Mouse and the group, and was released on Nonesuch Records on December 6, 2011. The record was the band's follow-up to their commercial breakthrough, Brothers (2010), and was their third collaboration with Danger Mouse. El Camino draws from popular genres of the 1950s to 1970s, such as rock and roll, glam rock, rockabilly, surf rock and soul. Danger Mouse contributed as a co-writer on each of the 11 songs alongside guitarist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney.

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<i>Turn Blue</i> (album) 2014 studio album by The Black Keys

Turn Blue is the eighth studio album by American rock duo the Black Keys. It was released through Nonesuch Records on May 12, 2014, and co-produced by Danger Mouse and the duo. The record was their fourth collaboration with Danger Mouse, following their previous studio album, El Camino (2011), which was their biggest commercial and critical success to that point. For Turn Blue, Danger Mouse reprised his role from El Camino as an equal songwriting partner alongside guitarist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney.

Fever (The Black Keys song) song by American rock band The Black Keys

"Fever" is a song by American rock band The Black Keys. It was released on March 24, 2014, as the lead single from their eighth studio album, Turn Blue. On April 15, 2014, the song was released on CD with the album's title track as a B-side, along with a credit applicable to purchases of the physical formats of the album. For the 57th Annual Grammy Awards, "Fever" was nominated for Best Rock Song and Best Rock Performance.

<i>Lets Rock</i> (The Black Keys album) 2019 studio album by The Black Keys

Let's Rock is the ninth studio album by American rock duo the Black Keys. It was released on June 28, 2019, through Easy Eye Sound/Nonesuch Records. It was their first release since Turn Blue (2014), marking the longest gap between studio albums in their career. After collaborating with producer Danger Mouse for their previous four records, the duo decided to self-produce Let's Rock and to eschew keyboards in favor of a basic recording approach of guitar, drums, and vocals. Drummer Patrick Carney called the album "an homage to electric guitar".


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