As one half of The Black Keys, Dan Auerbach is one of the most influential artists in all of modern blues-rock. Inspired by the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion's ability to bridge the blues and indie rock, the Ohio duo injects the genre with an underground-bred edginess. They also pioneered a savvy, retro sensibility that has exerted a considerable influence on blues artists of all stripes. The younger cousin of New York punk icon Robert Quine, Auerbach grew up steeped in music: bluegrass, indie, garage rock and, of course, the blues. After a stint in a group called The Barnburners, the guitarist and singer joined forces with drummer Patrick Carney in 2001. The Keys gradually developed a rabid fan base through relentless touring and a string of killer albums. After the release of 2008's Attack & Release, which peaked at No. 14 on the Billboard 200, Auerbach went to work preparing his solo debut. The critically lauded Keep It Hid came out on Nonesuch Records in the winter of 2009. Though the record sounded more or less like The Black Keys, tracks such as "Trouble Weighs a Ton" and "Whispered Words (Pretty Lies)" reflected Auerbach's growing love for Southern soul and gospel.