Rebirth of the Cool: Ohio Covers Ohio, Part One

The Black Keys have a way with a cover song and having long been champions of our shared home state of Ohio, it’s no surprise that they’ve covered a few of their fellow Akron-area musicians.

The James Gang, fronted for a time by Joe Walsh, formed in Cleveland in 1967. Their best-known song was a typically ’70s rock ‘n’ roll nugget called “Funk #49”.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_qHU_6Ofc0?fs=1]

While keeping the rock essence of the song, the Keys admirably trim the original’s excess making it, for me at least, far more palatable.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3T0GzZuKbhY?fs=1]

While the Cramps formed in Sacramento, California, the dearly departed Lux Interior hailed from Stow, Ohio, just outside of Akron, and Lux and wife Poison Ivy lived in Akron for a couple of years in the early 1970s.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4BMW31juLc?fs=1]

While a somewhat less natural choice for the Keys than the “Funk #49”, their cover of the Cramps’ “Can’t Find My Mind” reveals an appealing glimpse of punk spirit and Auerbach’s penchant for fuzz guitar serves the song well.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0XOfMwMX1A?fs=1]

Devo formed in Akron in 1973 before eventually moving to California and never really looking back, but not before leaving the Akron music scene shaken, bewildered and inspired.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZRENoPisFYk?fs=1]

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