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Atsa My Band

NRBQ

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Album Review

NRBQ makes its studio debut on its own record label with a set of infectious, at times giddy, originals and covers. Sue Thompson's "Norman" gets transgendered treatment as "Norma" with a raved-up Dixieland polka feel. "Kingston Town" retains its commercial calypso groove, but drummer Tom Ardolino overlays some square dancing calls for the lyrics. And the bubblegum trifle "Beautiful Sunday" (originally by Daniel Boone) is treated lovingly without being either overblown or pricked by satire. "Wand'rin Star," by those riders from the Upper West Side, Lerner and Loewe, gets a clip-clop cowboy ballad setting. Keyboardist and musical wit Terry Adams contributes some off-beat drollery — the faux cop-show theme "21-50 to Headquarters" and "Terry Got a Muffin," which sounds like it would fit on NRBQ's album for kids. Still, this track — as well as the cover of "Rip It Up" and Joey Spampinato's "You Are the One" — rocks, thanks, in large part, to Ardolino's relentless beat. Spampinato also provides a couple first class rock ballads: "Come Softly to Me," with jangling Beatlesque overtones, and "Goodbye." On these and the closer "See You Soon," the band really wears its collective heart on its sleeve, fitting for a musical Valentine to tuneful and loopy pop.

Biography

Formed: 1967 in Miami, FL

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Often called "the world's greatest bar band," NRBQ are that rare group that's eclectic, stylistically innovative, and creatively ambitious while also sounding thoroughly unpretentious and accessible. At its best, NRBQ's music casually mixes up barrelhouse R&B, British Invasion pop, fourth-gear rockabilly, exploratory free jazz, and dozens of other flavors while giving it all a stomp-down rhythm that makes fans want to dance and expressing a sense of joy and easy good humor that comes straight...
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