With rock music enjoying a long-overdue GRAMMY resurgence given the avalanche of nominations in the top categories this year, Ohio blues-rock rebels the Black Keys walked away with six, tying such heavy-hitters as Kanye West, Jay Z, Frank Ocean, Mumford & Sons and fun. for the most nods.
Among those six nominations (including Album of the Year for El Camino and Record of the Year for “Lonely Boy”) is a Producer of the Year, Non-Classical nod for Black Keys frontman Dan Auerbach, who produced El Camino.
While Auerbach is best known for his work with the Black Keys, the band’s singer has been honing his production chops for years, with credits going back as far as 2006. Twiddling studio knobs for such acts as Shivering Timbers and the Ettes, in 2012 alone he’s produced records for high profile artists like Dr. John, Michael Kiwanuka, JEFF The Brotherhood and Grace Potter & the Nocturnals (his GRAMMY nomination is based on his work with Dr. John, Hacienda and the Black Keys). He was even tapped to produce a song for the new ABC country music TV drama, Nashville.
“Having a place that’s tailor-made for you is a real luxury,” Auerbach told Guitar World about his relatively new Easy Eye Studio in Nashville, TN, where he records the Black Keys as well as other acts. “Everything here works. These keyboards … all you need to do is pull up a fader on the console to start recording. You see a lot of studio websites and think they’ve got cool sh*t. Then when you show up, half of it’s not working. If it doesn’t work in my studio, it doesn’t stay on the floor.”
Auerbach will face some stiff competition in the Producer of the Year category, including Jeff Bhasker who produced fun.’s hit single “Some Nights” and even more so from this year’s producer to the stars, Diplo, who’s up for his work with No Doubt (“Push And Shove”), Snoop Lion (“La La La”), Usher (“Climax”) and more.
–Scott T. Sterling, CBS Local