Patrick Carney

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Patrick Carney
Patrick Carney Concert for Valor 11-11-14 (cropped).jpg
Carney performing in 2014
Patrick James Carney

(1980-04-15) April 15, 1980 (age 43)
Other namesThe Salesman, Chilli con Carney
  • Denise Grollmus
    (m. 2007; div. 2009)
  • Emily Ward
    (m. 2012; div. 2016)
  • (m. 2019)
FamilyRalph Carney (uncle)
Musical career
  • Musician
  • songwriter
  • record producer
  • Drums
  • percussion
  • guitar
  • bass
  • piano
  • keyboards
Years active2000–present

Patrick James Carney (born April 15, 1980) is an American musician and producer best known as the drummer of the Black Keys, a blues rock band from Akron, Ohio.

Early life[edit]

Carney's father, Jim, is a retired reporter for the Akron Beacon Journal and a music lover whom Carney credits with introducing him to various genres. His mother, Mary Stormer, is the traffic and parking supervisor for the Akron Municipal Clerk of Courts and is a former member of the Akron Board of Education. Carney has three brothers, William, who is an Amtrak supervisor; Michael, a graphic artist who created the art for each of the Black Keys' albums until he handed over the reigns for Dropout Boogie; and Barry Stormer Jr., who is an investment banker.

Carney's uncle, Ralph Carney, was a professional saxophone player, and played with Tom Waits, Marc Ribot and the B-52's among others.

After Carney's parents divorced when he was 6, he lived part of the time with his mother, Mary Stormer, and part of the time with his father, Jim Carney, who had moved to a neighborhood in West Akron (Ohio) not far from the home in which he and Mary lived. Dan Auerbach lived around the block in this new neighborhood, and Patrick and Dan met and played tag football with Auerbach's friends, although Patrick and Auerbach did not become friends until high school.

Carney stated in an interview with Modern Drummer that he never took drum lessons as a kid, but learned by mimicking friends that were also drummers, using a $150 drumset that he bought with money earned from a job as a teenager.[1]


Carney playing with the Black Keys in 2010

In 2001, Carney and Auerbach, lead singer and guitarist, formed the Black Keys, releasing their debut album The Big Come Up less than a year later. This was followed by Thickfreakness in 2003 and Rubber Factory in 2004. The band's fourth album Magic Potion was released in 2006. Attack & Release, their critically acclaimed fifth album was released in 2008, with a follow up in 2010 titled Brothers. The band released the albums El Camino in 2011, Turn Blue in 2014, and Delta Kream in 2021. The band's latest album is Dropout Boogie, released in 2022.

Music Producer[edit]

Carney currently produces and writes music out of his Nashville, Tennessee-based recording studio, Audio Eagle. He has produced a range of artists from various musical backgrounds including the Black Keys, Michelle Branch, Calvin Johnson,[2] Tennis, the Sheepdogs, Beaten Awake, Houseguest, Churchbuilder, Jessy Wilson,[3] Kramies and *repeat repeat.[4]

Audio Eagle Studio[edit]

Audio Eagle Studio is a recording studio opened in 2001 by Carney. The studio was located in Akron, Ohio and consisted mostly of a digital 12-track recorder. It went through many incarnations and configurations and was mainly used to record the first four Black Keys albums. In 2010, the studio was relocated to Nashville, Tennessee.

Serious Boredom on Sirius XMU[edit]

Carney hosts a monthly radio show on Sirius XMU called "Serious Boredom with Patrick Carney."

Vice News Tonight[edit]

Carney had a segment on HBO's news show, "Vice News Tonight", titled "Patrick Carney's High Standards Music Corner" where he listens to and judges new songs.

Other musical ventures[edit]

In 2009, while fellow Black Keys member Dan Auerbach was on his solo tour, Carney formed a new band called Drummer in which he played bass guitar. Each of the band's members had played drums in another band. They released Feel Good Together, their debut album in the same year. Carney is the drummer on the Rentals' 2014 album Lost in Alphaville.[5]

Carney contributed the main title theme to the 2014 Netflix show BoJack Horseman, and, in 2017, music to its soundtrack.

Views on the music industry[edit]

In a 2019 band interview with Joe Rogan, Patrick expressed his distaste for the trend among record companies generally, and Warner Brothers particularly, to 'bundle' tickets and record sales. The band feels that this practice, along with the record industry's increased emphasis on streaming numbers and social media profiles, disadvantages artists.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Patrick Carney, playing at the House of Blues in New Orleans, Louisiana, on September 21, 2010.

Carney's first marriage was to writer Denise Grollmus, in 2007, when he lived in Akron, Ohio.[7] The two had dated for several years, since Grollmus was a student at Oberlin College in Ohio and Carney and Dan Auerbach launched the Black Keys. The couple divorced in 2009. Both talked about the messy breakup in the media; Carney in Rolling Stone's May 27, 2010, issue and Grollmus in an essay - "Snapshots From a Rock 'N' Roll Marriage", published in Salon on March 3, 2011.[7]

In 2010, Carney and his bandmate, Dan Auerbach, moved from Akron and purchased homes in Nashville.[8] They recorded their El Camino album at Auerbach's newly completed Nashville studio, Easy Eye Sound Studio.

Carney married Emily Ward, whom he had met while living in New York City, on September 15, 2012, in the backyard of their Nashville home.[9] Carney and Ward divorced in January 2016. Ward, a California native, had moved to Los Angeles by that time.

In 2015, Carney met Michelle Branch at a Grammy party, and the two started dating during the production of Branch's album Hopeless Romantic, which Carney produced.[10] In 2017, Branch and her daughter Owen moved into Carney's Nashville home, which they share with Irish wolfhounds.[11][12] Carney and Branch became engaged on her birthday in 2017.[13] On February 11, 2018, Branch announced that she and Carney were expecting their first child. Their son, Rhys James Carney, was born in August 2018.[14][15] Carney and Branch married in April 2019.[16] In October 2020, the couple purchased a home in the Old Village neighborhood of Mount Pleasant, SC, across the harbor from downtown Charleston. In December 2020, it was revealed that Branch suffered a miscarriage.[17] In February 2022, Branch gave birth to her third child, a daughter, her second with Carney. On August 11, 2022, Branch announced her separation from Carney, citing his alleged infidelity. She was arrested on a charge of domestic assault due to slapping Carney after accusing him of infidelity.[18] This charge was later dismissed. [19]


The Black Keys
The Rentals



  1. ^ Berkery, Patrick (March 2011). "Patrick Carney" (PDF). Modern Drummer. p. 82.
  2. ^ "Calvin Johnson Teams With Black Keys' Patrick Carney for New LP". Rolling Stone. July 26, 2018.Rolling Stone Retrieved March 9, 2019
  3. ^ "Jessy Wilsons Premiere Single Sings About Love and Sophistication". V Magazine Retrieved March 9, 2019
  4. ^ "*repeat repeat Share 'Hi, I'm Waiting' Video From Patrick Carney Produced Album: Premiere". Billboard. March 8, 2019. Billboard Retrieved March 9, 2019
  5. ^ "The Rentals Sign to Polyvinyl for First Album in 15 Years". Rolling Stone. December 5, 2013. Retrieved September 18, 2014.
  6. ^ "The Black Keys Get Real About the Music Business | Joe Rogan". YouTube. September 20, 2019. Retrieved April 20, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. ^ a b Grollmus, Denise (March 3, 2011). "Snapshots from a rock 'n' roll marriage". Salon. Retrieved December 18, 2021.
  8. ^ "Music - GuideLive".
  9. ^ "Black Keys' Patrick Carney Gets Engaged | Music News". Rolling Stone. February 15, 2011. Retrieved October 9, 2011.
  10. ^ "Michelle Branch & New Boyfriend Patrick Carney Made an Excellent Pop-Rock Album: 'It Was Us Against The World'". Billboard. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
  11. ^ Hudak, Joseph (March 14, 2017). "Inside Michelle Branch's Second Act". Rolling Stone. Retrieved May 25, 2020.
  12. ^ "Michelle Branch on Instagram: "Dog day is coming to an end...but is it ever really over? #DarlaAndCharlotte"". Instagram. Archived from the original on December 24, 2021. Retrieved May 25, 2020.
  13. ^ "Michelle Branch Gets Engaged to Patrick Carney". July 3, 2017. Archived from the original on December 24, 2021.
  14. ^ "Michelle Branch & Patrick Carney Welcome Baby Boy". Billboard. Retrieved August 31, 2018.
  15. ^ "All She Wanted! Michelle Branch and Patrick Carney Welcome Son Rhys James - See His First Photo". Retrieved August 31, 2018.
  16. ^ "Michelle Branch Marries the Black Keys' Patrick Carney in New Orleans".
  17. ^ "Michelle Branch Opens Up After Suffering Miscarriage, Thanks Husband Patrick Carney for Support". December 27, 2020.
  18. ^ "Michelle Branch Separates from Patrick Carney After 3 Years of Marriage: 'I Am Totally Devastated'". Peoplemag. Retrieved August 12, 2022.
  19. ^ news, Nardine Saad Nardine Saad covers breaking entertainment; Topics, Trending Culture; celebrities; trainee, their kin for the Los Angeles Times She joined The Times in 2010 as a MetPro; Scenes, Has Reported from Homicide; Canyons, Flooded; Premieres, Red Carpet; Shows, Award (August 25, 2022). "Tennessee domestic assault case against Michelle Branch has been dismissed". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 2, 2022. {{cite web}}: |last1= has generic name (help)
  20. ^ "Karen Elson Enlists Father John Misty, Black Keys' Patrick Carney for New Album | Pitchfork". January 10, 2017. Retrieved November 6, 2018.

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