Album Review

Playful New EP from the New NRBQ

NRBQ - Happy Talk

Some of NRBQ’s longtime fans have a hard time accepting this revision of the band as legitimate, but with founding member Terry Adams at the helm, the new quartet has captured a chunk of the original band’s ethos as they move forward with new material. 2011’s Keep This Love Goin’ and 2014’s Brass Tacks each displayed the broad musical taste and sense of irreverence that were hallmarks of the earlier lineups.

This five-song EP continues in the same direction with two originals, and covers of Roy Orbison, Rodgers & Hammerstein, and the blues saxophonist Abb Locke (“Blues Blues Blues”). The originals are playful novelties, while the covers are given original spins such as a tic-tac rhythm for “Only the Lonely” and the dreamy quality of “Happy Talk.” If it sounds a bit like a lark, that’s because amusement and adventure married to taste and musical chops have always been the band’s raison d'être, and that DNA has passed through to this revitalized quartet. [©2017 Hyperbolium]

NRBQ’s Home Page

As long as Terry is still at the helm, it's still NRBQ to me...the unit that most people see as the band is likely Al, Tommy and Joey along with Terry, but they've all been gone for a long time...if the band goes on for 50 years, it's hard to keep the same guys...this unit still seems to have a similar approach..."amusement and adventure married to taste and musical chops"...well put! 

It's understandable that longtime fans might have a hard time accepting this quartet using the "NRBQ" name, but it's a shame if it puts them off from listening to their records.

Agree completely...I saw the Terry/Al/Tommy/Joey version live several times and I still think of them as the gold standard, but these guys definitely have the chops and the overall apporach really hasn't changed's still a great band in every way...reverent and irreverent at the same time...

Enjoyed the review!  

Well, it’s not as if the band is led by the third replacement bass player and contains no original members. Terry is one of a kind. Scott and Casey are perfect fits for NRBQ in spirit and talent, they add a lot. 

I would agree that as long as Terry Adams is at the helm it's still NRBQ. A good example of how respected Terry Adams is as a musician is the fact that in Robert Altman's brilliant 1993 film "Short Cuts" Terry Adams was the piano player in the jazz band The Low Note Quintet that backed the character played by Annie Ross who was the very respected singer in the jazz vocal group Lambert, Hendricks & Ross. Most of the songs Ms Ross sings in the film were written by Dr. John and Doc Pomus so it's a very good soundtrack album as well as a great film.

I love Terry but he should have given the band a new name.