Dan Auerbach recently produced a track for an upcoming episode of ABC's country music drama Nashville, according to Buddy Miller, who is co-producing the show's original music under executive music producer T Bone Burnett. The Black Keys frontman manned the boards on "Bitter Memory," an unreleased tune written by Americana songstress Lucinda Williams and performed on the show by Connie Britton's character, Rayna Jaymes.
"We wanted a wild producer doing a track," Miller tells Rolling Stone.
Miller literally didn't have to look further than his backyard to find one – he and Auerbach are neighbors in Nashville. "It's that kind of town," he says. "We cut, like, three versions of that song – a rockabilly version, a writing version. I think Connie cut a version with an Omnichord," he adds, explaining that a scene in an upcoming episode depicts Britton writing the song on the Eighties-vintage synthesizer.
"What TV show is gonna have an Omnichord in it?" asks Miller. "I mean, that probably doesn't happen that much in Nashville, but then, on the other hand, it probably happens more [there] than it does anywhere else is the world."
Lucinda Williams has regularly performed her own version of "Bitter Memory" on tour in recent months. In fan-filmed live clips the song is an upbeat, biting country-blues kiss-off to past lovers best forgotten, leaving Nashville viewers a good question: Will Rayna write it about Teddy or Deacon?
This has been a busy year for Auerbach. In between striking gold with El Camino and embarking on an international arena tour with the Black Keys, the bearded blues-rocker produced JEFF the Brotherhood's major-label debut, Hypnotic Nights, Dr. John's Locked Down, Hacienda's Shakedown and selected tracks on both neo-soul newcomer Michael Kiwanuka full-length debut, Home Again, and country rockers Grace Potter and the Nocturnals' The Lion the Beast the Beat.