About a year ago we learned Black Keys singer-guitarist Dan Auerbach was wrapping up a second album with his side band the Arcs. That project has not yet been released, perhaps because Auerbach has been focused on his first solo album since 2009’s Keep It Hid. Rolling Stone reports that the new solo LP is out in the spring and features playing and writing by a bunch of music legends. He calls it “a whole history of everything I love about music.”
Auerbach reportedly worked on the album this past summer in Nashville. Each week he spent Monday through Wednesday writing with John Prine and David “Fergie” Ferguson then recorded at his Easy Eye Sound studio from Thursday to Sunday. Among the icons who played on the album are longtime Johnny Cash bassist Dave Roe, drummer Gene Christman and pianist Bobby Wood (both known for their work on Memphis recordings by Dusty Springfield and Elvis Presley), twangy guitar legend Duane Eddy, and Dire Straits leader Mark Knopfler. Knopfler plays rhythm guitar on a track called “Shine On Me,” while Eddy played a solo on “Waiting On A Song.” The tracklist also includes “Malibu Man,” a tribute to Rick Rubin.
As for the Black Keys, they remain on a break. Auerbach tells RS, “It’s hard to turn away money, but you have to recharge.” He will, of course, be touring the new solo album, but it’s unclear whether his many famous collaborators will be coming along.