NRBQ is celebrating its 50th anniversary by doing what it's done since 1966.
Making some noise.
Formed in Louisville, Ky., as the New Rhythm and Blues Quartet, the group has been through 17 members and 21 albums, plus collaborations with the likes of Carl Perkins, Skeeter Davis and pro wrestler Captain Lou Albano. A musicians' band, NRBQ's songs have been covered by Bonnie Raitt, Los Lobos and others, and its praises sung publicly by Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan, Elvis Costello and many more.
"The time has gone by fast, like a long weekend," keyboardist Terry Adams, NRBQ's sole remaining founding member, says by phone during NRBQ's current tour with Los Straitjackets. " know it's a lot compared to other bands, but when you believe in what you are doing and also have fun doing it, it's easy."
NRBQ will celebrate its anniversary with "High Noon: A 50-Year Retrospective," a five-disc, 106-song box set that comes out Nov. 11. But Adams, 66, took some time now to talk about NRBQ's past -- and its future...
NRBQ began as a hobby more than a professional concern, according to Adams. "NRBQ started as a band that played at home only making tapes on a webcor tape recorder," he recalls. "Friends in the neighborhood would stop by. We liked all music and 1966 was a good time to be feeling that way. We didn't want to sign up with some pre existing category... we just played what felt right at the time. The best thing is that the music now is running on cleaner energy and more creative than its ever been., never at a standstill."
Fun has been the operative word that's kept Adams engaged in NRBQ for 50 years -- save for a hiatus from 2004-2011 brought on by his bout with throat cancer. "I tell other musicians that whatever they're doing, you should never lose what got you excited about music in the first place," he explains. "If it starts becoming a job or a means to an end, you lose touch with that original inspiration. That's the most important thing, keeping the excitement in your soul. For me, I've got to feel like I did when I was eight or 10, when I first listened to music. You've got to keep that."
Adams and the current lineup of NRBQ are working on something new to follow up 2014's "Brass Tracks." "We were recording back in Nashville the other day. (Guitarist) Scott Ligon joining NRBQ is the best thing that's happened in a long time. It's all there in the music. We'll put it out some time early next year, I think."
NRBQ vs. Los Straitjackets
Thursday, Sept. 15. Doors open at 8 p.m.
22920 Woodward Ave., Ferndale.
Tickets are $25.
Call 248-544-1991 or visit themagicbag.com.
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