When The Raconteurs announced news of their debut album in early 2006 they described themselves as “a new band made up of old friends.” The four members, Brendan Benson, Patrick Keeler, Jack “LJ” Lawrence and Jack White, were all established in their own right; Brendan as a solo artist, Patrick & LJ as the rhythm section of The Greenhornes and Jack as one half of The White Stripes. The impetus to start a new group together came not out of boredom or a longing to escape their increasingly successful day jobs, but from an already long lasting friendship and mutual respect. The four had known one another for well over a decade and had played on bills together dozens of times over the years but, by the time they had completed work on their debut album Broken Boy Soldiers, they had still never played a show as The Raconteurs. Doing things a little differently was part of the fun.
Released in May 2006 Broken Boy Soldiers was a critical and commercial success. The album’s first single “Steady, As She Goes” became a monster radio hit. The album charted at #7 in the Billboard Charts and #2 in the UK’s Album Charts, where it was Mojo Magazine’s Album of The Year. Rolling Stone proclaimed, “Expectations were sky-high, but The Raconteurs exceed them all” and the band picked up the title of Best New Artist in their annual Readers Poll. It was the record’s mix of warm harmonies with explosive guitars and layers of sometimes psychedelic rock with catchy sing-song choruses & witty rhymes which made it such an infectious and unique success. The songwriting skills of Brendan and Jack clearly meshed perfectly together; their respective talents for shimmering pop melodies and firecracker blues fit snuggly with the robust and gifted rhythm section.