Thursday, January 19, 2012

Me & The Q

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.


soundsource said...

great clip and great post but just one little girp and not meaning to be to persnickity....shoudn't they really change the name of the band. Especially since 3/4 of the band are all new guys and they've got a bunch of new material.
how about something like terryrq or nrbterry. I'm glad to see them rocking on but I just saw an ad for some kind of CCR band with just stu cook and doug clifford plus three other guys and it reeks of "baby needs a new pair of shoes." you know my feelings / rants on the who etc., at least the New Q (how about that for a name) have new rocking material and don't seem to be just an oldies show.
stepping off the soap box now, sometimes i just can't help myself.

Sal Nunziato said...

They are called the New NRBQ. I said that at the very top.

Sal Nunziato said...

Though I guess the CD says NRBQ. I don't know. Take it up with Terry. ;)

Alan said...

Sal: You are the greatest. There is only one person who would have written the Lou Reed - Eudora Welty comment, and that fabulous person is YOU!

soundsource said...

opps can i say that again opps and please delete no leave it as an admission of senility.
By the way i liked the Eudora Welty reference as well.

steve simels said...

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.

Obviously, I wish I'd said that.

Noam Sane said...

Terry's explained himself plenty. He didn't want the old NRBQ to end; the classic lineup was not the original lineup; many of the songs are the same and the spirit, as Sal notes, lives on in this band.

What's the saying? "Don't look a gift horse in the mouth."

I'm gonna catch these guys on Sunday in Sellersville, PA, wherever the hell that is.

Still shook up over Tommy. Too young, too alive. He made me smile many, many times.

John Saeger said...

Don't know if anyone else heard it yet but NRBQ's bass player, Pete Donnelly had a pretty good album come out at the end of 2011 called "When You Come Home." Worth checking out.

A guy called Tak said...

I just listened to their new album.
It amazes me that still Q sounds like old Q.I thought it was almost impossible.
I've seen Q with Big Al and without Big Al, if you close your eyes and just listen - not a significant difference. Same old Q.
So, I can see the new Q with just Terry still maintains that signature Q sound.

A walk in the woods said...

Great piece, Sal. I'm just bummed they don't appear to be coming to the South any time soon! (

Terry Adams did play here in Atlanta last year or 2010 at what was apparently a great tribute to Atlanta piano-roll legend Atlanta Red. Longing to see the full 'Q now though! (or 'New Q' or whatever - it still rocks)

jmills said...

It's a shame NRBQ broke up. The Spampinato Bros. also have a real good album out. Terry owns the name NRBQ. It's like Pink Floyd touring without Roger Waters & still calling themselves Pink Floyd,or Paul McCartney touring as The Beatles. Check out the Spampinatos live,they just played a couple of shows with Big Al up in Northampton Mass. in December

Multielvi said...

I saw them Thursday night in Annapolis. I had read your review earlier in the day. I was happy yo hear that they were better than expected. Armed with that knowledge, they were even better than I expected, even though I expected them to be good.

Terry had put together a fine group of musicians. They capture the Q spirit and really seem to be enjoying the themselves. They played for nearly three hours playing songs from the new album most of the "hits", and some off the wall foolishness. The highlight of the show for me was "Ain't It All Right". If you get a chance to see them, do it.

rem2rigs said...

@jmills Have you heard the new NRBQ line up? I don't think you have. Likening this line up of NRBQ to Floyd or Beatles is a broken analogy. As far as Terry owning the NRBQ name well that's simply his business not ours. The Spampinato Brothers are ALSO great I agree. The shows with Big Al from what I heard were a huge success and that's fantastic. May I propose we just enjoy the music for what it is? That's what I'm gonna do!

jmills said...

I only make that dinstiction because it's easier to market yourself with a brand name,like Pink Floyd or NRBQ. Terry is a very talented guy & I love his music but it's more of a business decision to call himself NRBQ rather than The Terry Adams Quartet. Robbie Robertson owns the rights to the Bands music & name but he uses his name on all his releases.

Sal Nunziato said...


And not a single solo Robbie release remotely resembles the sound of The Band. Just sayin...

Everything about the New NRBQ screams old NRBQ. I say, there are plenty of bigger and more odious people to hound about this.

More people will recognize NRBQ than the name Terry Adams, and if that's enough to get them out to a show, they will see and hear an original, playing music that is in the spirit of the name.

A. Grumpus said...

I wasn't there for the 2nd night, but the first night they played "Don't Know Why I Love You But I Do"--it's a Bobby Charles song made famous by Clarence Frogman Henry--pretty sure Dino's song is not the same.

Sal Nunziato said...

@A. Grumpus.

Oh JEEZ! You are so right. That is exactly what they played. Thanks for the correction. (Mr. New Orleans over here, should have recognized that.)

shane said...

little late to the party here, but...
I went to the first set on Tuesday, celeb sightings were less impressive: Jon Herington (who kinda looks like Lou Reed, but is Steely Dan's guitar player) was there.
some of the songs they played: keep this love goin, animal life, I'm satisfied, gone with the wind, umbrella, that's neat that's nice, captain lou, and little floater (highlight of the night for me). 1st time seeing the new lineup, they were great. I agree with others here about them keeping the name--the band definitely pulled off the NRBQ energy.

qfan_1 said...

It's ALL Q to me!! Whether it's Terry, Scott, Pete & Conrad or Joey & Johnny or Al or any semblance thereof it's still all Q to me and ALL good!! They're all nice people and God bless us all! Thank-Q!