Last month I compared local keyboardist/bandleader Jimmy Voegeli to Terry Adams of "the late, great NRBQ."
NRBQ publicist Jill Christiansen wrote the next day to say the quartet was not "late" at all. Not even close. The new disc, Keep the Love Goin', was proof.
I was ashamed. Keith Richards, Elvis Costello and Bob Dylan may count themselves as the 'Q's greatest fans, but they'd have to stand in line behind me. Maybe behind Mike Scully, too. The former head writer and executive producer of The Simpsons wrote NRBQ into the series as the "unofficial house band" for seasons 10-12.
NRBQ's longtime lineup did dissolve, however, in 2004. That's when Terry Adams, who founded the band in 1967, was diagnosed with stage four throat cancer. By 2007 he was writing and playing again under several band names with bassist Pete Donnelly, drummer Conrad Choucroun and singer/lead guitarist Scott Ligon.
Adams officially rechristened the group NRBQ with the release this past summer of Keep the Love Goin'.
How does it hold up? Just fine, and then some. That means you get an earful of swing, rock, country, jazz and NRBQ's trademark groove.
Chicagoan Ligon's supple vocals fall right into the places left behind by former NRBQ crooners Al Anderson and Joey Spampinato.
From the rockabilly backbeat of "I'm Satisfied" to the doo-wop harmonies of "Here I Am," to the jazz casual "Gone with the Wind," the band is back and currently touring in Europe. Christiansen says an Upper Midwest appearance by NRBQ next summer is not out of the question.