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ALL THINGS NRBQ

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  • ALL THINGS NRBQ

    I solemnly swear to use this thread for all New Rhythm and Blues News

    Upcoming shows. I will happily be in that number at The Hamilton in DC on Saturday (25) and at The Loft XM special taping on the 27th. Threadheads and Lurkers treat yourselves to what Bonnie Raitt called "the best rock and roll band ever".


    NRBQ NEW YEAR!!
    January Wednesday-Sunday 8-12 Hog's Breath Saloon Key West, FL
    January Friday 24 Underground Arts Philadelphia, PA
    January Saturday 25 The Hamilton Washington, DC
    January Tuesday 28 Rams Head Annapolis, MD
    January Wednesday 29 B.B. King's New York, NY
    January Thursday 30 Tupelo Music Hall Londonderry, NH
    January Friday 31 Katherine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center Old Saybrook, CT
    February Saturday 1 Infinity Music Hall Norfolk, CT

    Get Rhythm!

  • #2
    I am sorry for being so ignorant, but what does NRBQ stand for?

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    • #3
      Originally posted by canadianjohn View Post
      I am sorry for being so ignorant, but what does NRBQ stand for?
      Not at all, it stands for The New Rhythm and Blues Quartet, but they aren't new or rhythm and blues (as it is now perceived), and often not a quartet, usually one or more horn players are included and referred to as The Whole Wheat Horns. Trombonist Donn Adams came up with the name as a play on The Modern Jazz Quartet, a band that his brother Terry Adams (keyboards) and he were fond of. I'm told it is also the trains one must catch to get to Carnegie Hall.

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      • #4
        Cool. I always wondered about that. For some reason, I thought the name had something to do with BBQ, but I guess I'm always subconsciously trying to link everything to pork.

        So a friend of mine sent me this email last Friday:

        I found this on my desktop this morning as I was cleaning up. Great, classic set of the Q that's not too weird and has just the right amount of roots rock and freaked out undertones. If you've ever wanted to know what the big deal is/was about this band, check out this easy-to-digest set:

        Live At The Bottom Line, 1978_ Late Set.zip

        Kemp (or other NRBQ aficionados), do you think this is a good example of the band in their prime?

        I listened to it, and while I found it nice enough, I confess it didn't really grab me. Maybe they're not really a band that grabs you. I don't know.

        If anyone has any links to live recordings that will educate me, I'm all ears. I'm trying to give these guys a shot, but I need someone to point me in the right direction.

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        • #5
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-d5Hdqyjj5o

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          • #6
            Originally posted by groovy1967 View Post
            Cool. I always wondered about that. For some reason, I thought the name had something to do with BBQ, but I guess I'm always subconsciously trying to link everything to pork.

            So a friend of mine sent me this email last Friday:

            I found this on my desktop this morning as I was cleaning up. Great, classic set of the Q that's not too weird and has just the right amount of roots rock and freaked out undertones. If you've ever wanted to know what the big deal is/was about this band, check out this easy-to-digest set:

            Live At The Bottom Line, 1978_ Late Set.zip

            Kemp (or other NRBQ aficionados), do you think this is a good example of the band in their prime?

            I listened to it, and while I found it nice enough, I confess it didn't really grab me. Maybe they're not really a band that grabs you. I don't know.

            If anyone has any links to live recordings that will educate me, I'm all ears. I'm trying to give these guys a shot, but I need someone to point me in the right direction.
            Thanks for the interest, Groovy. I'm dealing with weather issues right now, but when I get a chance, I will give the 78 show a listen. Trying to explain NRBQ to people can be as frustrating as trying to explain Phish or Panic to people because these are not "normal" bands with which we are dealing. Like those previously mentioned bands and The Dead and Further, the Q has to be experienced live in order to really get it. My suggestion is to find a live show, have a few drinks or whatever, get as close as you can to the front and let it rip. Maybe you will get it or maybe you won't, but you will experience a unique band who play like they love it every night. I would suggest you start with their last live album We Travel The Spaceways because that is the band you will see now and I think it is their best recorded live show. Studio stuff is uneven, but Scraps, Workshop and At Yankee Stadium are what I would call their best studio efforts.

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            • #7
              i would agree with mr. kemp's analysis. i am around plenty of Qheads and admittedly, i just don't get it. I probably own 10 of their records and could put together 1 great one between all 10. Live, they are fun and fluffy. I feel much better about them than i do the other bands he mentioned, which tend to be of the "on the bus/not on the bus" type. Kinda like Star Trek. Those that get it, great. The rest of us just wonder what the fuss is all about. The main difference between NRBQ and the Dead Phish is they actually seem to have a sense of humor and I have never been bored at one of their shows. In my experience, admittedly limited as i learned fairly quick, those Deadtype and Deadlight bands are cures for insomnia. ya dig what ya dig, and i am always glad to read about the joy anyone gets from their type of music.
              I do miss Al Anderson, however and glad he is making mega bucks writing hits for Nashville acts.

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              • #8
                To each their peach, but if you don't think Phish has a sense of humor you really must not have given them much of a try. If anything, they are often faulted for injecting too much humor in their music. You may not like it, enjoy it or get it, but rest assured they have a sense of humor.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Kemp View Post
                  I'm told it is also the trains one must catch to get to Carnegie Hall.
                  The stop right by Carnegie is served by the N, Q, and R trains. But back in the 70s into the 80s, the Q was called the QB. So NRBQ is an anagram of those, but if that were the real source of the name, then they'd be NRQB, and you'd be nicknaming them "the B".
                  Visit my Jazzfest advice site: http://jazzfest.swagland.com/

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Dr. A. View Post
                    The main difference between NRBQ and the Dead Phish is they actually seem to have a sense of humor
                    This is timely.

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                    • #11
                      Yup. I think Phish's often obtuse sense of humor is one of the major stumbling blocks for people who can't get into their music. The same is probably also true for Frank Zappa, who was one of, if not the biggest influence on the band.


                      Originally posted by Kemp View Post
                      Trying to explain NRBQ to people can be as frustrating as trying to explain Phish or Panic to people because these are not "normal" bands with which we are dealing. Like those previously mentioned bands and The Dead and Further, the Q has to be experienced live in order to really get it.
                      To be fair, if a virgin asked me to recommend a Phish show, I wouldn't have any idea what to recommend. Of course, I almost never listen to Phish these days, aside from when I'm at the actual concert, so I'm a bit out of the loop.

                      Oddly enough, that clip belyin posted tells me that there are some similarities between NRBQ and some of Phish's repertoire. I get the sense of humor thing. I love the story behind At Yankee Stadium, and I'm intrigued by the fact they recorded an album with Captain Lou Albano. I can also tell that they're into different styles of music, as well as a penchant to really go out there in the middle of a song or solo.

                      To these inexperienced ears, what stands out most right now is Terry Adams' piano that seems to quickly spiral off its axis before resolving back into the theme. I dig that.

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                      • #12
                        Listened to the youtube video (I said I'd eventually give these guys a listen!) I thought they were good, seemed pretty fun, I might check them out at Fest, but I probably wouldn't go out of my way for a night show, etc.

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                        • #13
                          thanks for this belyin!!

                          It was fun seeing the band and clips from Tip's and Liberty Lunch (manager) in Austin from back in the day...

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by groovy1967 View Post
                            Yup. I think Phish's often obtuse sense of humor is one of the major stumbling blocks for people who can't get into their music. The same is probably also true for Frank Zappa, who was one of, if not the biggest influence on the band.




                            To be fair, if a virgin asked me to recommend a Phish show, I wouldn't have any idea what to recommend. Of course, I almost never listen to Phish these days, aside from when I'm at the actual concert, so I'm a bit out of the loop.

                            Oddly enough, that clip belyin posted tells me that there are some similarities between NRBQ and some of Phish's repertoire. I get the sense of humor thing. I love the story behind At Yankee Stadium, and I'm intrigued by the fact they recorded an album with Captain Lou Albano. I can also tell that they're into different styles of music, as well as a penchant to really go out there in the middle of a song or solo.

                            To these inexperienced ears, what stands out most right now is Terry Adams' piano that seems to quickly spiral off its axis before resolving back into the theme. I dig that.
                            You tapped into what Terry Adams is all about. Thelonious Monk and all the great rock and roll/blues keyboardists rolled into one. A sense of humor is the kiss of death for most bands and the Q's humor has alienated many otherwise potential fans. They have calmed down now, but at one time were the Andy Kaufmans of rock. When "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" was the number one song in the nation, the roadies would pass out sheet music and the band would play this plodding piece lethargically throughout, then they would leave the stage, come back for an encore and play it again. Once when opening for Bonnie Raitt after doing so, she came out and started "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald!
                            Last edited by Kemp; 03-24-2014, 08:45 AM.

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                            • #15
                              Terry Adams is one of my favorite musicians. He is hilarious to watch play and what he plays is amazing. I agree, there aren't many bands that are funny and who have the chops to back it up. The Q in their hey day were as good as it gets for me.

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