The Black Keys return this month with their new album Turn Blue—their eighth studio album in the last 12 years. But writing hit songs isn't the only thing that keeps the garage-rock duo busy. They typically spend their downtime producing for up-and-coming acts as well as a few established artists, serving as tastemakers as well as lending their studio expertise.
Here are 10 acts they've had a hand in shaping over the last few years. Check 'em out—there's a little Black Keys in all of them.
One of Dan Auerbach's earliest discoveries was blues-influenced musician Jessica Lea Mayfield—she hails from Ohio, where Auerbach was based for years. On her debut album, 2008's With Blasphemy So Heartfelt, he recorded her at his Akron, Ohio studio. Check out "Bible Days" above. It's a passionate, bluesy number that yields the record's titular line.
Memphis-based musician Valerie June has been kicking around for over a decade, but it was last year's Auerbach-produced album Pushin' Against a Stone that broke her out. The two are a perfect match—she's soulful and confident and on this bluesy single, while Auerbach's guitar oozes all over.
When listening to Grace Potter, it's easy to think of Janis Joplin. Thus, pairing her with Auerbach makes total sense. On 2012's The Lion the Beast the Beat, he helped produce, provided hand claps and even co-wrote three songs, including the groovy single "Never Go Back." It could totally be a Turn Blue era Keys song.
Canadian rock band the Sheepdogs tapped Carney to produce their self-titled, major label debut—and clearly it paid off. Along with having great songs, the album hit No. 1 on the Canadian charts and nabbed a Juno Award nomination for Rock Album of the Year. Their single "Feeling Good" has a distinct Black Keys vibe, down to the Gary Glitter drum beat and fuzzed-out guitars.
In 2012, Knoxville, Tennessee-based three piece Royal Bangs hooked up with Carney and started recording their fourth album, Brass. "Better Run" is a Strokes-esque rocker and the video is just a ridiculous as Carney's Twitter feed.
Dr. John, the bread and butter of New Orleans, tapped Auerbach to help him out on Locked Down, his critically acclaimed 2012 album. Dan plays guitar and sings back up on this one, and even though Dr. John is hardly a Black Keys "disciple," this album shows how far Auerbach's Midas Touch goes: Locked Down won the 2013 Grammy for Best Blues Album. Check out the soulful "Revolution" above.
Auerbach's latest muse is none other than Lana Del Rey. At this point, it's unclear as to how much he produced on her new album Ultraviolence, but he recently told Rolling Stone that his experience "was amazing" and that she's "extremely talented." Check out the woozy single "West Coast" above.