Here comes Terry. Here comes Pete. Here comes Scott. Here comes Conrad.
Listening to the New NRBQ perform last night at Iridium was a lot like listening to the old NRBQ, and that is the very best thing I can say. Opening with a swinging take on the Bobby Charles classic, "I Don't Know Why I Love You, But I Do," it took Terry one smack on the piano to transport me back to the heyday and any one of those crazy-good shows at The Bottom Line. In bad light, and maybe if you squint a little, hell, you might even think it really was the old gang, looking svelte and a tad younger. I mean, look at that pic.
There will be skeptics....those missing Big Al and Joey, and now the sad passing of the one and only Tom Ardolino. But trust me on this, you don't want to miss this band.
Terry Adams hasn't lost a beat. His Monk meets Jerry Lee meets Floyd Cramer style is as vital as ever. The man is a true original. Scott Ligon can do Big Al just fine, and his voice his pure gold. The rhythm section of Pete Donnelly and Conrad Choucroun was everything and more. Old faves like "Howard Johnson's Got His Ho-Jo Working," "Magnet" "I Want You Bad," even "Ridin In My Car" sent happy chills right through me.
There were two people behind me at the bar, who walked into the club, not knowing who or what they were about to see. I'm guessing tourists by what I heard the gentleman say to his companion.
"Isn't this great? There's supposed to be good jazz here."
My feeling is they just took a shot, possibly hoping for a quartet playing some bop. They seemed stunned after the second song. About 20 minutes in, they were whooping with the rest of us. That is what NRBQ can still do.
Lou Reed walked in about 30 minutes into the set. No one seemed to care. I was completely shocked at first, but only because I thought it was Eudora Welty.
It was a great night. With a great band. And a great set. I wanna do it again and again.
Go buy the album.