The Black Keys have already announced the release of their upcoming blues cover LP Delta Kream with their version of John Lee Hooker’s ‘Crawling Kingsnake’. Now, we’re getting another taste of the album with a video for their take on R.L. Burnside’s ‘Going Down South’.
The Keys’ version, which pays tribute to the sparse arrangement and propulsive thump of the original but expands it to new sonic horizons, lets Dan Auerbach unleash his most effective falsetto since Turn Blue‘s title track. Fellow Keys member, Patrick Carney, cheats a little by providing drums not found in the original, but the groove he lays down is solid enough to give him a pass.
“That was one of R.L. Burnside’s hits!” Auerbach states in a press release talking about the song. “We strayed a little from the original on our version with the falsetto and percussion, but we liked how it sounded in that moment. It’s become one of my favorites on the album.”
The accompanying video stays true to the tune’s title by following Auerbach and Carney as they travel through Burnside’s home state of Mississippi. The YouTube description helpfully points out some of the notable areas visited, which includes showing the band play at the Blue Front Cafe in Bentonia, the oldest juke joint in America. Other spots featured are the hometowns of blues musicians Mississippi Fred McDowell and James ‘T Model’ Ford: Como and Greenville, Mississippi, respectively.
The band will perform ‘Going Down South’ on the newly socially distanced Later… With Jools Holland on May 14 with a performance filmed at Auerbach’s Easy Eye Sound studio in Nashville. The spot will feature musicians Kenny Brown and Eric Deaton, long-time members of the bands of blues legends including R. L. Burnside and Junior Kimbrough, both of whom have songs featured on Delta Kream.
Check out the video for ‘Going Down South’ down below. Delta Kream is set for a May 14th release.