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  • The Black Keys
  • Nonesuch/Warner

Any fool with half a notion and a stack of vintage LPs can do the retro thing, but it takes a clue to bring something timeless to the table. The Black Keys have a knack for doing the latter, particularly on the blues-rock duo's 2008 album Attack & Release and perhaps even more so with the new Brothers, recorded at the famed place of Southern music, Muscle Shoals studio in Alabama. What were found there were haunting vibes of malaria-ridden R&B, blood-shot soul and 6-foot-deep electric blues. She's Long Gone is one of those blues, and a cover, Jerry Butler's pleading Never Gonna Give You Up, rips Dianne Warwick from the arms of Burt Bacharach and deserts her barefoot and ragged in Memphis. All told, the musical brothers Dan Auerbach (guitar/vocals) and Patrick Carney (drummer) take us to a sweaty, glorious era that never quite existed before. Dig the trip. B.W.

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Brad Wheeler is an arts reporter with The Globe and Mail. More

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