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Album Review

Thirty-five years after their 1969 self-titled debut, NRBQ's Dummy delivers 13 highly accessible titles with enough quirky delight to rival Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe and other purveyors of the mid-'70s new wave sound. Oh the rhythm & blues is still there, as sure as that's part of the group's name, but on this mostly new album (which includes takes from stray sessions) the styles run the gamut from Joey Spampinato's Grateful Dead forged "I Need Love" (recorded by Bonnie Raitt on her Fundamental disc ) to a wondrous cover of "All That's Left to Say Is Goodbye" from the catalog of Gilberto/Jobim/DeMoraes, the songwriters who wrote "Girl From Ipanema"." The bulk of the album was recorded by co-producer Billy Shaw in Vermont, February 2004, while "All That's Left to Say Is Goodbye" comes from a 2002 Northampton Massachusetts session. Closing track 13, "Misguided Missiles," is a protest song recorded in Woodstock, New York, 1991 with former member Al Anderson making an appearance. The older tracks blend in nicely with the 2004 material, making for a smooth listening experience. "Call of the Wild" opens with George Harrison-type sitar sounds and veers off into a rockabilly Beach Boys riff. "Hey Punkin Head" could be a Brian Wilson parody clocking in at two-minutes-and-thirty-five-seconds — the baker's dozen of tunes never straying into the four-minute land, with one under two minutes. Short and delightfully sweet, the material is vibrant and in the pocket. To those not familiar with NRBQ Dummy is an excellent intro. A colorful 12-page booklet says little, but it doesn't have to, Terry Adams' piano and clavinet speak volumes alongside bassist/co-leader Joey Spampinato, guitarist Johnny Spampinato and drummer Tom Ardolino. Adventurous and lots of fun.

Customer Reviews

If you don't buy this disc, its name refers to you!

The 'Q rarely disappoints. This disc is great and it's good to hear Al back with the band again on 'Misguided Missiles." Go see them live, or else!

Good job!

Alright. I myself am not total NRBQ fan, but I do like Jonnny. This album sounds okay, go ahead and buy it. There's a lot of good songs here.


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 from...
Full Bio