Monday, September 12, 2011
NRBQ: Me and the Boys
On one of their good nights NRBQ (New Rhythm and Blues Quartet) was the best bar band in the world--or as their fans would put it, the best band in the world--bar none. For twenty years pianist Terry Adams, guitarist Big Al Anderson, bassist Joey Spampinato and drummer Tom Ardolino toured together, performing everything from jazz, to 12 bar blues to Beatlesque ballads and crunchy power pop like "Me and The Boys". Always in the spirit of good goofy fun.
The list of famous NRBQ fans reads like a Who's Who of the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame. I caught the band at an obscure club in NYC in '99 and ran into the guys from Del Amitri. There were Posies and Young Fresh Fellows at a Seattle show a year later. Makes me wonder whom I didn't recognize at the New Orleans shows I saw in the 80's.
Eventually all eyes fall on the shaggy keyboard player who always seemed to be pounding the keyboards with the flats of his hands instead of his fingers. Terry is touring as NRBQ these days with three young musicians. Big Al is sought after country music songwriter and Joey and Tom are still playing around. No, they never sold a million records but they've been featured both on The Simpsons and by Connie Chung.