NRBQ - Brass Tacks - New LP
The latest from the Q. German import.
"On Brass Tacks, NRBQ's third album since Terry Adams re-formed the group in 2011, the group sounds more like the old NRBQ than ever, and given how great that band was, that's a fine thing. Now as always, Adams is a tremendously gifted keyboard man, songwriter, and vocalist, and he's fired up his bandmates with the sound and feel that was the band's trademark, and while one would rightly expect the songs Adams wrote to recall classic Q, the tunes contributed by guitarist Scott Ligon and bassist Casey McDonough fit the band's traditional template so well that it seems spooky at times, as if they've been channeling the spirits of Al Anderson and Joey Spampinato. But just as importantly, Adams and his bandmates -- Ligon, McDonough, and drummer Conrad Choucroun -- have achieved the sort of musical interplay, comfortable but deeply intuitive, that has always been NRBQ's greatest gift, and that comes through loud and clear on these performances, which are too accomplished to suggest these guys are just aping the old lineup's style. NRBQ's mix of rock & roll, jazz, and R&B is as singular and as satisfying as ever, and this wouldn't sound out of place next to much of the classic lineup's recordings, no small accomplishment. As usual, Adams has brought in a handful of sneakily witty tunes, including the ode to credit card debt "Greetings from Delaware," the Sun Ra homage "Places Far Away," and the rollicking "I'm Not Here," while Ligon's sweetly easygoing "I'll Be Alright" is a gem and Jim Hoke of the Whole Wheat Horns contributes "I'd Like to Know," a beautifully downbeat bit of lovelorn pop. One might expect this edition to NRBQ to develop more of a unique personality by now, but there's no arguing that they're doing what they do very well indeed, and Brass Tacks suggests this lineup has a lot of life in it yet." - Mark Deming