Über Black Dub
Daniel Lanois' reputation rests on his production work first and foremost. He is, along with Rick Rubin and that genius/crank Steve Albini, one of modern pop music's most influential knob-twisters. His credits are pure A-list: U2, Bob Dylan, Peter Gabriel, Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris, et al. But Lanois is also a musician and songwriter (though his own work generally flies under the radar). In 2009, around the same time he was working with Neil Young on Le Noise, Lanois hooked up with jazzbos Brian Blade (drummer) and Daryl Johnson (bass player), as well as the daughter of the late Chris Whitley, singer-songwriter Trixie Whitley. Christening itself Black Dub, the quartet released via YouTube a series of stylish black-and-white music videos, documenting its moody fusion of neo-soul, jazz-rock, Americana, dub and ambient drone. Signing with Jive/Red Ink, the group released its self-titled debut album in November 2010. The 11-track set splits time between expansive, reverb-soaked soundscapes ("Ring the Alarm," "Slow Baby") and tracks spotlighting Whitley's wonderfully throaty cry ("I Believe in You," "Surely"). Not long afterward, Black Dub kicked off a tour of the States.