The New Rhythm and Blues Quintet, better known as NRBQ, formed more than 50 years ago. After playing together for a few years, the band began recording with Eddie Kramer and inked a two-record deal with Columbia Records. Their eponymous 1969 debut featured wide-ranging originals peppered with versions of songs from diverse sources, from Eddie Cochran to Sun Ra, including a co-write between the band’s Terry Adams and jazz experimentalist Carla Bley. It was, and is, a wildly original and influential release.
Crawdaddy once noted, “It was filled with first class rock & roll, but there were a number of strange and wonderful songs that indicated something was happening on a higher aesthetic plane …” John Sebastian says: “The Lovin’ Spoonful closed down about 1969 … To me, it’s always as if NRBQ kind of took the ball at that point for the original American Music Band.” And AllMusic sums it up: “A tremendously important record by a furiously eclectic and always wonderful band.”
At the time of the debut album, NRBQ featured Terry Adams, Steve Ferguson, Joey Spampinato, Frank Gadler and Tom Staley.
For all of its stature, it’s hard to believe that in the recording’s 49-year existence, NRBQ has never been reissued, in any format. That changes on March 16, 2018 when Omnivore Recordings will make NRBQ available once again, on CD (for the first time), Digital, and as a gatefold LP.
Combining elements of the original, with additional photos and new liner notes from Jay Berman, the package has never looked, nor sounded better.
The band is still going strong, and this reissue follows hot on the heels of their celebrated 5-CD box set, High Noon — A 50-Year Retrospective, and last year’s critically acclaimed Omnivore EP, Happy Talk.
As Berman writes in his notes: “This historic and monumental recording has been remastered, and finally authorized for re-release. This album is a great reminder that NRBQ is on a mission, one that holds steady to its original inspiration to this day. For those fans who missed it the first time around, it Hasn’t Aged A Bit.”
According to Adams: “We did this album on a 12-track recorder at the Record Plant with Eddie Kramer engineering. We didn’t believe in doing a song more than once. This was how the band sounded on the night it was recorded. A couple of days later it would’ve been a whole different record. I like what they did with this new EQ remix. It sounds like how we felt.”
NRBQ will be touring the U.S. and overseas in 2018.
1. C’mon Everybody
2. Rocket #9
3. Kentucky Slop Song
5. C’mon If You’re Comin’
6. You Can’t Hide
7. I Didn’t Know Myself
9. Fergie’s Prayer
10. Mama Get Down Those Rock And Roll Shoes
11. Hymn Number 5
12. Hey! Baby
13. Liza Jane
14. Stay With We