Today, for the first post, we’ll start with something light. As a musician I can be a complete snob about what I like/dislike about various artists, genres and/or styles of music (something you will notice on this blog). So today, I plan to start by introducing you to THE BEST BAR BAND IN THE WORLD (The Faces coming in second, as their career as band was short lived): NRBQ, which stands for New Rhythm and Blues Quartet (though they are almost always known by their acronym). First, a little taste. . .
The above video contains the most noted, though not the most current, line-up. Pianist Terry Adams, and bassist Joey Spampinata are the only two original members left in the band and in that video. 'Big Al' Anderson (later replaced by Joey's brother, Johnny Spaminato) on guitar and the "cats meow," Tom Ardolino (still in the band) beating the crap out of the snare drum were part of a line-up that stretched from 1974 to 1994. Laying waste to musical convention and/or the idea that a band had to have a distinct sound. NRBQ's sound was singularly unique in that it was diverse and eclectic.
About 5+ years ago, around the time Wilco's much acclaimed Yankee Hotel Foxtrot record hit the stores (another story entirely), a friend and bandmate of mine turned me onto these guys. In our band (the now defunct Scott Carpenter and the Real McCoys), my friend was the official "mix tape" editor/producer. We traveled all over the country and with radio being unreliable and crappy he was an invaluable resource in this department. Popular in his mix-tape arsenal was NRBQ.When I first heard NRBQ I was only slightly intrigued. They sounded like a. . . well, just a band, playing pop songs. It wasn't until I saw them for the first time at the Euclid Tavern (a, since closed, dump) in Cleveland, OH did I understand what the, albeit under-the-radar, fuss was all about. Never before had I seen four musicians hit the stage and completely dominate every song and style they played (including a face-melting cover of Roy Orbison's short, catchy tune, "Chicken Hearted"). They were so unbelievably tight and cohesive that my dreams of being a "rock star" faded and since then I've just wanted to be in a band as good as NRBQ.
Unfortunately, NRBQ is a somewhat dormant band these days. While they are all active in music, seperately and sometimes in collaboration, they have not regularly played as NRBQ in a few years. Here's to hoping that changes. Either way you can catch Terry Adams doing four dates in November with the The Terry Adams Rock & Roll Quartet. Hopefully I'll catch a show in Cleveland.
Either way, I could go on for hours, but I'll let youtube do the talking for me. . .
BTW, both songs posted here are covers or adapted covers. Their orginal material is vast and incredible, but these are the one's I wanted to hear and it's my blog.