Saturday, January 28, 2012

Are You A Q Head?

The New Rhythm and Blues Quartet, or quintet, depending on how old you are. You probably know them as plain old NRBQ. What's that? You don't know them at all?

I always think of them as Massachusetts folk, even though they're from all over. The bass player, Joey Spampinato, still lives on Cape Cod, and his brother Johnny -- a sometimes member of NRBQ -- is a member of The Incredible Casuals, who played at the Beachcomber in Wellfleet every Sunday for thirty years or so.

The music business seems trivial on its face, but it's as grim as the Cosa Nostra on the back end. You can never get really famous unless you're as serious as a heart attack about getting famous all the time. Some people are just too good-natured about the whole thing to ever become a household word. They just become household words in other musicians' households. Exhibit A: NRBQ


Joan of Argghh! said...

Was sittin' on the boat last night, smoking a little cigar, drinking a little rum and listening to NRBQ.

I don't think it gets much better than that, unless we could have been in the Bahamas.

SippicanCottage said...

I always suspected you were cool.

Now I know it for a dead cert.

Anonymous said...

When the high school marching band does "Riding in My Car" there are a few moments that choke me up, every time.

I find the consistency unsettling.

Philip said...

"Get that Gasoline" was pretty much their only mass-market hit, methinks. When it used to play, the wags singing along would change one word in the verse.

I remember going to see them play in both East and West Hartford (I saw them play in Hartford as well, but I'm trying to blot that one out of my mind).

Fred said...

You've got your Spampinatos reversed - Joey is the bass player and Johnny is in the Incredible Casuals. They tour together now as "The Spampinato Brothers", playing some NRBQ and Casuals classics plus some new originals and fun covers. Check out their album "Pie in the Sky"

Sadly, drummer Tom Ardolino passed away earlier this month.

Terry Adams is keeping NRBQ alive with some youngsters who have the spirit & the chops - you never know what to expect at one of their shows other than lots & lots of smiles. Check out their latest album "Keep This Love Going"

SippicanCottage said...

Hi Fred- An egregious error. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. I've fixed it.

Jonathan Cook said...

Any rock band that covers Sun Ra is beyond cool in my book.

Sam L. said...

I have only a vague recollection of ever hearing the band's name.

That guy at the piano musta took Jerry Lee Lewis lessons.

Anonymous said...

Saw them years ago at the Turning Point in Piermont, NY.

Great show.