If you feel like you've heard the name Dan Auerbach a lot in the past year, the artist's own explanation is that he never stops working. Between Auerbach's work with The Black Keys, solo songs and a newer role as a producer, there are plenty of ways to hear the fruits of his labor.
"[Music is] what I do," Auerbach says. "I don't even think about it. When I wake up, I want to play music, and when I'm sleeping, I think about music."
I've been into The Black Keys since Thickfreakness came out, so I was really excited that its singer-guitarist was releasing a solo album. Keep It Hid is Keys-ish, as expected, but also marked by warm production and some of the best vocals Auerbach has recorded to date.
Auerbach handles the guitars and vocals in The Black Keys, and he provided a hint of his solo direction on the band's latest album, Attack & Release. The closing track, "Things Ain't Like They Used to Be," presented a more subtle and haunting sound than other efforts from the duo, and featured guest vocals from Jessica Lea Mayfield, a singer-songwriter whose record Auerbach recently produced.
I was interested to talk to him about a number of things: How does he determine which songs would be Black Keys songs and which would be solo? What was it like working with more musicians than just Pat Carney? Most of all, I wanted to know how he felt about one blogger's man-crush on him, with Auerbach's beard serving as the focus of his affection.
It was a great session, with Auerbach and his Uncle Jim gathered around one microphone in an old-timey, old school kind of way.
Listen to the previous Favorite Session, or see our full archive.