Daniel Quine Auerbach (/ˈaʊərbɑːk/; 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. 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) and Waiting on a Song (2017), and formed a side project, the Arcs, which released the albums Yours, Dreamily, (2015) and Electrophonic Chronic (2023).
Daniel Quine Auerbach
May 14, 1979
Wooster, Ohio, U.S.
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, CeeLo Green, Hank Williams Jr 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 2020, 2021 and 2023.
Childhood and early lifeEdit
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. His father is of Polish Jewish descent and his mother is of part Manx descent. 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. 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. 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". 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 KeysEdit
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. Carney is the nephew of saxophonist Ralph Carney, who performed on several Tom Waits albums. While attending Firestone High School, Carney and Auerbach became friends, though they were part of different crowds. Auerbach was captain of the high school soccer team, while Carney was a social outcast. 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.
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.
While attending university, Auerbach met and began regularly playing guitar with fellow Ohio blues musician Patrick Sweany while continuing to work on material for The Black Keys with Carney. Sweany was a friend of Auerbach's father, but the younger Auerbach was recommended by a mutual friend, who was impressed by Dan's authenticity when playing the likes of RL Burnside and Junior Kimbrough. Auerbach spent 18 months playing in Sweany's band, mainly playing baritone guitar. Sweany told Guitar.com that one night after a gig, Auerbach played Sweany the mixes for the Black Keys debut album, and he knew that his time in the band was over, stating, "Man, this is really interesting... so um, can you help me train your replacement!?"
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.
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 8 episode as well as the December 3 episode.
After the touring for Turn Blue concluded, Auerbach and Carney took 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". Auerbach added, "You can't just keep doing it, because it'll suck your brain dry".
After their hiatus The Black Keys returned in 2019 with the album Let's Rock produced by Danger Mouse with the chart-topping single "Lo/Hi". This was followed by 2021's Delta Kream, which consisted of blues covers performed with guitarist Kenny Brown and bassist Eric Deaton.
In 2022, The Black Keys announced Dropout Boogie.
Other performances and bandsEdit
Auerbach was a member of a band called The Barnburners before forming The Black Keys in 2001. The Barnburners included Auerbach, Jason Edwards and Kip Amore. The Barnburners were a blues-based band that performed in Northeast Ohio clubs and released a 6-track album called The Rawboogie EP. 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.
The Fast FiveEdit
The band Fast Five toured with Auerbach in 2009. The Fast Five's other members drew from the band Hacienda and percussionist Patrick Hallahan from My Morning Jacket. The original percussionist, Bob Cesare, was unable to perform with the Fast Five because of a death in his family.
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. 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." 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. Afterward, Auerbach asked Hacienda to travel to Akron, Ohio where they would be his "guinea pigs" while recording Keep It Hid.
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.
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".
The debut album, Yours, Dreamily, was released later in the summer of 2015.
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."
On July 3, 2018, Richard Swift, the multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter who was a member of the Arcs, died 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".
The Arcs released their second album, Electrophonic Chronic, in January 2023.
In 2017, blues musician Robert Finley got connected with Auerbach, and the pair released an original soundtrack for the graphic novel Murder Ballads, published by z2 Comics. Shortly after the release of the Murder Ballads soundtrack, Billboard announced that Finley would be releasing a full-length album produced and co-written by Auerbach.
The album, Goin' Platinum!, was released on Auerbach's Easy Eye Sound (Nonesuch Records) on December 8, 2017. The following year Finley joined Auerbach's Easy Eye Sound Revue tour.
In 2021, Finley announced the album Sharecropper's Son, to be released May 21, 2021 on Easy Eye Sound. The album is autobiographical in nature, and centers on Finley's upbringing on a crop share in Louisiana, and was produced by Auerbach.
Awards and honorsEdit
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.
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.
In 2010, he joined the 9th annual Independent Music Awards judging panel to assist independent musicians' careers.
Auerbach first married Stephanie Gonis, with whom he has a daughter, Sadie Little Auerbach, born in 2008. In 2013, they were divorced.
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.
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".
- Solo albums
- Keep It Hid (2009)
- Waiting on a Song (2017)
- Solo singles
- "I Want Some More" (2009)
- "Heartbroken, In Disrepair" (2009)
- "Shine on Me" (2017)
- "Waiting on a Song" (12", Ltd, Bar / 2017)
- "Stand by My Girl" (2017)
- "King of a One Horse Town" (Digital / 2017)
- with The Black Keys
- The Big Come Up (2002)
- Thickfreakness (2003)
- Rubber Factory (2004)
- Chulahoma (2006)
- Magic Potion (2006)
- Attack & Release (2008)
- Brothers (2010)
- El Camino (2011)
- Turn Blue (2014)
- Let's Rock (2019)
- Delta Kream (2021)
- Dropout Boogie (2022)
- with Blakroc
- Blakroc (2009)
- with The Arcs
- Yours, Dreamily, (2015)
- The Arcs vs. The Inventors Vol. I (2015)
- Electrophonic Chronic (2023)
|Patrick Sweany||C'mon C'mere||Guitar on "One More Time"||2006|
|Brimstone Howl||Guts of Steel||Producer, engineer, mixer||2007|
|John Doe||A Year in the Wilderness||Guitar||2007|
|Nathaniel Mayer||Why Don't You Give It To Me||Co-producer, co-mixer, Guitar, Drums, Vocals||2007|
|Radio Moscow||Radio Moscow||Producer, engineer, mixer, Acoustic Guitar||2007|
|Patrick Sweany||Every Hour Is a Dollar Gone||Producer, engineer, mixer||2007|
|Black Diamond Heavies||A Touch of Someone Else's Class||Producer, engineer, mixer||2008|
|Buffalo Killers||Let It Ride||Producer, engineer, mixer||2008|
|Hacienda||Loud Is The Night||Producer, engineer, mixer, BG Vocals, Guitar||2008|
|Jessica Lea Mayfield||With Blasphemy So Heartfelt||Producer, engineer, Mixer, arranger, Acoustic and Electric Guitars, Bass, Drums, BG Vocals, Piano, Synthesizer, Hammond Organ, Toy Piano, Lap Steel, Percussion||2008|
|The Ettes||Danger Is EP||Producer, engineer, mixer||2009|
|The Ettes||Do You Want Power||Producer, engineer, mixer, Piano on "No Home"||2009|
|Nathaniel Mayer||Why Won't You Let Me Be Black?||Co-producer, co-mixer, Guitar, Vocals||2009|
|Hacienda||Big Red & Barbacoa||Producer, engineer, mixer||2010|
|Cadillac Sky||Letters in the Deep||Producer, engineer, mixer, Waterphone, Vocals||2010|
|Parting Gifts||Strychnine Dandelion||Guitar||2010|
|Shivering Timbers||We All Started in the Same Place||Producer, engineer, Drums, mixer||2010|
|Jessica Lea Mayfield||Tell Me||Drum Loop, engineer, Guitar (Acoustic), Moog Synthesizer, producer, composer, Vocals||2011|
|Brian Olive||Two of Everything||Engineer, Mixing, producer, BG Vocals||2011|
|Reigning Sound||Abdication... For Your Love||Producer||2011|
|Dr. John||Locked Down||Producer, Guitar, Percussion & Background Vocals||2012|
|JEFF the Brotherhood||Hypnotic Nights||Mixing, producer, BG Vocals||2012|
|Grace Potter & the Nocturnals||The Lion the Beast the Beat||Composer, Handclapping, producer, Vocals||2012|
|The Growlers||Hung at Heart||Producer||2013|
|Hanni El Khatib||Head in the Dirt||Producer, Bass, Guitar, Background Vocals, Percussion||2013|
|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|
|Lana Del Rey||Ultraviolence||Producer, handclaps, shaker, electric guitar, 12-string acoustic guitar, synthesizer||2014|
|Nikki Lane||All or Nothin||Producer||2014|
|Lee Fields||Emma Jean||Guitar, vocals||2014|
|Cage the Elephant||Tell Me I'm Pretty||Producer and co-writer on "Trouble"||2015|
|A$AP Rocky||At. Long. Last. ASAP||Guitar||2015|
|The Pretenders||Alone||Producer, writer, guitar||2016|
|Robert Finley||Goin' Platinum||Producer, composer, guitar||2017|
|Jake Bugg||Hearts That Strain||Composer, guitar||2017|
|Shannon and the Clams||Onion||Producer||2018|
|Sonny Smith||Rod for Your Love||Producer||2018|
|La Luz||Floating Features||Producer||2018|
|Shannon Shaw||Shannon in Nashville||Producer, composer, guitar||2018|
|Chuck Auerbach||Remember Me||Guitar, producer||2018|
|Night Beats||Myth of a Man||Producer||2019|
|Dee White||Southern Gentleman||Producer, composer, guitar||2019|
|Yola||Walk Through Fire||Producer, Musician||2019|
|Leo Bud Welch||The Angels in Heaven Done Signed My Name||Producer||2019|
|Kendell Marvel||Solid Gold Sounds||Producer||2019|
|Jimmy "Duck" Holmes||Cypress Grove||Producer, composer, guitar||2019|
|Purple Mountains||Purple Mountains||Co-writer on "Maybe I'm the Only One for Me"||2019|
|The Cactus Blossoms||Easy Way||Co-writer on "Got a Lotta Love" and "Blue as the Ocean"||2019|
|Marcus King||El Dorado||Producer||2020|
|Early James||Singing for My Supper||Producer||2020|
|CeeLo Green||CeeLo Green Is Thomas Callaway||Producer||2020|
|Zella Day||Where Does the Devil Hide||Producer||2020|
|Aaron Frazer||Introducing...||Producer, backing vocals, guitar||2021|
|Tony Joe White||Smoke From the Chimney||Producer, percussion, guitar||2021|
|Robert Finley||Sharecropper's Son||Producer, composer, guitar||2021|
|Yola||Stand for Myself||Producer, composer, percussion, guitar||2021|
|Shannon and the Clams||Year of the Spider||Producer||2021|
|The Velveteers||Nightmare Daydream||Producer, composer, guitar, percussion||2021|
|Ceramic Animal||Sweet Unknown||Producer, composer, guitar||2022|
|Son House||Forever on my Mind||Producer||2022|
|Hank Williams Jr.||Rich White Honky Blues||Producer, slide guitar||2022|
|Various Artists||Something Borrowed, Something New: A Tribute to John Anderson||Producer||2022|
|Early James||Strange Time To Be Alive||Producer, composer||2022|
|Marcus King||Young Blood||Producer, composer, guitar||2022|
|Hermanos Gutiérrez||El Bueno Y El Malo||Producer||2022|
- Fender Jerry Donahue Telecaster
- Harmony Stratotone H47
- Harmony H78 Hollowbody
- Harmony Heath TG-46
- Harmony Rocket
- Höfner 176 Galaxie 
- Gibson Firebird VII
- 70's Gibson Les Paul Deluxe
- 60's Gibson SG Junior
- Guild Thunderbird
- Supro Martinique
- Silvertone U1
- Silvertone 1454
- Rickenbacker 360
- Ibanez SG copy
- Ibanez Rocket Roll[flying v copy]
- National Map
- Teisco Del Rey SS-4L
- Reverend Flatroc
- Fender Quad Reverb
- Marshall JTM45 and vintage Marshall 8x10 cab
- Fender '65 Twin Reverb Reissue
- Fender Musicmaster Bass
- Fender Super Reverb
- Victoria Double Deluxe
- 1960s Fender blackface Princeton
- 1963 Fender Vibroverb
- Ibanez Standard Fuzz
- Sovtek Big Muff
- Earthquaker Devices Hoof Fuzz
- Gibson Maestro Fuzz Tone
- Tubeplex tape delay
- Fulltone Tape Echo
- Boss TR-2 Tremolo
- Analogman Sunface
- Boss Super Shifter
- Boss Super Octave
- Nu Wah Fuzz Wah
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Auerbach is the son of a Jewish father and a non-Jewish mother, of British descent. Auerbach, so far as I know, as never spoke about any religious upbringing.
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- Dan Auerbach discography at Discogs
- Cold Steel in the Midnight Hour: An Interview with Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys
- The Black Keys – Interview
- Pentatonic for the soul: Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys
- Keep It Hid Review
- Dan Auerbach live review on Citizen Dick
- Dan Auerbach on Obscure Sound
- Real Detroit Weekly – Dan Auerbach[permanent dead link]