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Keep This Love Goin'

NRBQ

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Album Review

Seven years after they last released a studio album, NRBQ are back — well, sort of. NRBQ quietly called it a day in 2004, the same year they released the album Dummy, and since then keyboard man, songwriter, and de facto leader Terry Adams has been touring and recording with a new combo, the Terry Adams Rock & Roll Quartet. However, for the album Keep This Love Goin', Adams has rechristened his Rock & Roll Quartet NRBQ, even though he's the only original member of the group on board (longtime Q drummer Tom Ardolino does sit in on two numbers and contributes cover artwork). Given that Adams has had plenty to deal with in recent years (most notably being diagnosed with throat cancer in 2004), it's hard to fault him for wanting to look back to his musical salad days, and Keep This Love Goin' strives to match the sound and mood of NRBQ's golden era. This is very much a group effort rather than an Adams solo set, with Scott Ligon and Pete Donnelly contributing vocals and songwriting as well as guitar and bass, and the songs certain reflect the playful eclecticism of NRBQ at their best, from the slightly twisted R&B of "Sweet and Petite" and the bluesy boogie of "Red's Piano" to the sweet pop melody of the title track, the Tchaikovsky-quoting playfulness of "In Every Dream," and the jazzy introspection of "My Life with You." And Adams' keyboard work is as superb and singular as ever, while Ligon, Donnelly, and drummer Conrad Choucroun are a fine band, fluid and able to keep pace with Adams' always shifting musical moods. Despite all this, while Keep This Love Goin' might look and sometimes sound like an NRBQ album, this music doesn't quite capture the ineffable groove and unique vision of the band's best music; NRBQ fans will almost certainly enjoy it, but few will be fooled into thinking it's the real thing, good as Adams and company may be on these sessions.

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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