NRBQ: “Keep This Love Goin’”
For forty-five years, NRBQ has been keeping rhythm and blues alive night after night, gig after gig. Starting in Miami in 1967 as the New Rhythm & Blues Quartet (hence the acronym), the group has seen more than a few changes over the years. Members have come and gone, and nowadays the only original musician is pianist Terry Adams. He put the group on hiatus in 2004 as he battled throat cancer, but last year he reconvened NRBQ with a handful of younger musicians and took the band on the road once more.
Since its inception, NRBQ has primarily maintained a cult-like following among fans. They did achieve some chart success in the mid-70s, only to be dropped from their label in short order. But those kinds of retreats hardly bother the group or its fans. Their live shows are legendary, largely due to their audience-request set lists and musical interplay among the members. Oddly enough, they picked up a new generation of listeners via The Simpsons in the mid-90s, appearing in a number of jokes and an episode as themselves because head writer Mike Scully is a longtime fan.
Nowadays, Scott Ligon (guitar), Pete Donnelly (bass), and Austinite Conrad Choucroun (drums) make up NRBQ with Adams. They’re gigging as hard as ever in support of this year’s live album We Travel The Spaceways, and they stopped by KUT’s Studio 1A recently for a live session. True to form, the group improvised the set list, changing it up as they went along. NRBQ even pulled out “Keep This Love Goin’” from their 2011 comeback album of the same name, giving guitarist Scott Ligon a turn at lead vocals as Adams smiled approvingly from behind the Steinway.