Too Late to Stop Now

NRBQ

High Noon: A 50-Year Retrospective (Omnivore)

Too Late to Stop Now

Five decades, five discs, five eras, and four distinctive lineups crystallize the genius of musical lettermen NRBQ. The New Rhythm and Blues Quartet, long championed by admirers including Keith Richards and Elvis Costello, rode the grand piano/keyboard/clavinet of group savant/constant Terry Adams, visionary captain of a band channeling Thelonious Monk and Sun Ra explorations, Chuck Berry and Johnny Cash's rockin' narratives, and the harmonic pop of the Lovin' Spoonful and the Beach Boys. Adams' vision is contextualized here, each group configuration getting its just due. The beloved 'Q lineup of bluesy chicken picker Al Anderson, crooner/bassist Joey Spampinato, and playful wunderkind drummer Tom Ardolino rightfully commands two discs, '71-89, with a parade of timeless jukebox singles like "Me and the Boys" and "Ridin' in My Car." The gritty garage vibe of the Sixties-era crew (including late guitarist Steve Ferguson's barnburning "Flat Foot Flewzy") stands shoulder to shoulder with zanier cuts from axeman Johnny Spampinato's 1990-2005 tenure (i.e., "21-50 to Headquarters," "Ain't No Horse"). Meanwhile, the pure melodic sweetness supplied by Adams' current six-string foil Scott Ligon on "Waitin' on My Sweetie Pie" and "Keep This Love Goin'" brings the journey full circle and full steam ahead. Nineteen superb unreleased live tracks help make NRBQ's High Noon a Gary Cooper-worthy bull's-eye.

****.5

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Mamahawk
Brain Invaderz (Record Review)

Jeremy Steinberger, March 22, 2019

Texas Platters
Lonestar
Lonestar (Record Review)

Libby Webster, March 22, 2019

More by Scott Jordan
Gift Guide 2015: The Boxing Lesson
Bobby Rush
Chicken Heads: A 50-Year History of Bobby Rush (Record Review)

Dec. 18, 2015

A Drunken Poet's Dream
Petty: The Biography
Gator comes clean

Dec. 11, 2015

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

NRBQ

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle