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Album Review

Originally titled Age of Aquariums, Workshop became the first album to feature what is considered by many to be the "classic quartet" version of NRBQ. This incarnation incorporated the talents of bandleader Terry Adams (keyboard/coronet/trumpet), Joey Spampinato (bass/guitar/sax/vocals), Al Anderson (guitar/vocals), and, in his final studio appearance with the band, Tom Staley (drums). Although they had been performing with an evolving makeshift horn section — which could (and often would) include coronet/trumpet player Terry Adams and saxophonist Joey Spampinato — this disc also debuts the semi-permanent Whole Wheat Horn section, consisting of Terry's brother Donn Adams on trombone and Keith Spring on sax. The shift in personnel served the 'Q well, as Workshop was lauded and raved about by enthusiasts as well as pop music critics. Producer Eddie Kramer was able to further enhance the band's practically indefinable style, ranging from the undeniable Paul McCartney-influenced Spampinato rocker "Deaf, Dumb and Blind" to the understated grace and complex rhythmic syncopation of Terry Adams' "Miss Moses." Another Spampinato gem is the organic pop ballad "Mona." Instrumentally, the track is notable for Terry's accordion accents, as well as the conspicuous absence of drums. In addition to the copious originals, the guys revived the C&W-tinged "Blues Stay Away From Me," which had actually been recorded for inclusion on their previous long-player, Scraps. Likewise, their second stab at Brownie McGhee and Sonny Terry's "Come On If You're Comin'" reinforced the popularity of the track, which became a performance and enthusiast favorite. A similar fate would befall the 'Q's unofficial anthem — the down-home rockabilly rave-up "RC Cola & a Moon Pie." Sadly, Workshop was never reprinted, although several notable compilations such as RC Cola & a Moon Pie (1986) have included key tracks.

Customer Reviews

Classic Q

This record features the classic NRBQ trio of Terry, Joey, and Big Al in the early years. There are some great rocking numbers as well as some jazzy, 50's, and even a basso nova tinged number. For those of you who never got to see NRBQ in a bar or on a college campus in the 70's or 80's, play "RC Cola and Moonpie" and picture a bunch of dancing idiots in front of the stage, the band stops playing just long enough for the audience to sing "WITH AN RC COLA AND A....MOONPIE". Yeah, it's ALLRIGHT!!!


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...
Full Bio