They've been called "The World's Greatest Bar Band" for good reason - there's nothing like being in the crowd after NRBQ had just literally ignited the place with their first song of the night and hearing Big Al say, "Awww, the band is HOT!"
You knew then you were in for a rockin' good time!
NRBQ, or the New Rhythm and Blues Quartet, has been playing in and around Connecticut for over 40 years. I remember first seeing them in 1978, the year they released their great album "NRBQ at Yankee Stadium". The cover photo is a great visual gag, showing four tiny figures sitting in a deserted Yankee Stadium.
The most definitive lineup was guitarist Al Anderson, pianist Terry Adams, bassist Joey Spampinato and drummer Tommy Ardolino; the band was often accompanied by the Whole Wheat Horns, with Keith Spring on tenor sax and Donn Adams (Terry's brother) on trombone.
I honestly can't recall how many times I saw the band (probably at least 30 times) but it was usually in one of the many semi-dives that populated the New Haven music scene back in those days before the drinking age was raised from 18 to 21, causing many of them to close (but saving quite a few lives in the process, so I guess it was worth it). The old Arcadia Ballroom was one of my favorite venues to see the band; there was something special about that decrepit beer-soaked hall.
In September 1979, NRBQ appeared at Toad's Place for a show that was simulcast on WPLR 99.1, which I recorded on my cassette deck (with Dolby!) I kept that cassette in my '73 Ford Gran Torino and 85' Mustang for years before storing it in the basement. I must have played it 500 times in my car over the years. A few years ago I found it and transferred the music to my computer with an analog cable, and then burned it to a CD.
The music went from the band playing in the crowded and smokey Toad's Place, over the FM airwaves, into my stereo, onto my tape, into my car for a decade of summers and winters, into a box in my basement for another decade, onto my computer, and finally onto a CD. It still sounds great and it's always been one of my favorites.
Some music is just too damned good to fade away!
nrbq - "I Got A Rocket In My Pocket"
nrbq - "I Want You To Feel Good Too"