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Cream’s Ginger Baker, Leslie West + More Pay Tribute To The Black Keys

The Black Keys
Jordan Strauss, Getty Images

Listening to the music of the Black Keys, you have to figure that Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney had at least one Cream album in their record collection growing up. But they probably never guessed that a member of Cream — and a number of other rock heroes — would one day pay tribute to their music.

Cream drummer Ginger Baker is just one of the classic rockers in an extensive lineup of musicians that have gathered together to put their spin on the Black Keys’ musical output via a new collection called ‘Black On Blues.’

The 14 track collection is due on July 17 from Cleopatra Records and covers the Keys’ catalog pretty well, including a fresh take on ‘Lonely Boy’ from the band’s latest album ‘El Camino,’ re-imagined with Baker behind the kit and everybody’s favorite punk rock human Slinky, Iggy Pop, on vocals.

In the hands of Pop and Baker, ‘Lonely Boy’ at certain points actually sounds like a lost outtake from the Cream catalog, an interesting sound and direction, coming from Pop. And yet, when you consider the Keys’ own version of ‘Lonely Boy,’ it indeed seems somewhat tailor-made for the likes of Pop.

‘Black On Blues’ also features Dave Davies of the Kinks, Leslie West of Mountain, guitar rocker Pat Travers and blues man Albert Lee, among others.

West has a lot of love for the Black Keys and makes no attempt to hide it, adding extra emphasis to his statement: “I LOVE THIS FRIGGIN’ GROUP. Great songs and great melodies. Sometimes you need talent, sometimes you need luck. This was luck being asked to do this album,” he effused, regarding his version of ‘I Got Mine.’

Davies was a bit low key by comparison to West’s above comments, when discussing his take on ‘Money Maker,’  saying simply that he loved doing it and “it was great fun to be part of this project. Cool rockin’ track.”

Sonically, ‘Black On Blues’ was in good hands, as it was mastered by Brian Lucey, the Grammy-award winning producer who has mastered a number of the Black Keys albums including the band’s latest, ‘El Camino.’

‘Lonely Boy’ is just the latest cover song addition to Iggy Pop’s body of work. He continues to explore famous material by others with his latest studio album ‘Apres,‘ which includes his versions of songs by the Beatles, Harry Nilsson, Frank Sinatra and Yoko Ono.

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