HERE'S NRBQ!

By Jean Metcalfe

Doug Cook, the epitome of the raunchy musician, shielded his eyes from the spotlight and appealed for direction on whether The Wild Root Rockers' should further stretch their opening set on Jim Porter's Saloon stage. They had already played an additional half hour past their planned set as NRBQ's opening act. The message apparently was to do a couple more numbers.

NRBQ's puckish Terry Adams, a Louisville native who, along with Steve Ferguson, formed the New Rhythm & Blues Quartet, later explained:

Joey's (Spampinato) plane was cancelled, but he drove from Nashville to Louisville in one hour and ten minutes. He should have been arrested. But he did it for you, the people. Then the quartet sang a song about Joey (He came from Sis-uh-lee, but now he's here with you and me.) in which they spelled out his last name.

Terry had come onstage wearing a green-and-blue toboggan hat, which he later removed. He was delightful to watch and hear. He mugged, preened, changed clothes, postured, pranced, and even produced a hand-held mirror to rearrange his hair. What fun!

Everyone in the group sang, although grizzly-bear-like drummer Tom Ardolino sang on only one: The Dummy Song. I wonder how many people remember the lyrics?:

Take a leg from any old table, take an arm from any old chair, take a neck from any old bottle ... and I'll get more lovin' from that Gol-darn dummy than I ever got from you.

This writer had turned her brain to off-duty mode, and intentionally left her reporter's notebook and camera at home. But it seemed almost unconscionable to be so thoroughly entertained by a group and then not mention it in the newspaper.

I did recall that they opened their performance with Deep in the Heart of Texas.

Big (and I mean BIG) Al Anderson nicely handled the vocals on a new NRBQ song, Till There's a Better Word for Love, which Terry introduced in his inimitable way:

It isn't even back from the copyright office yet. We don't even know the song yet. That's how new it is.

A hefty fan (of the mechanical variety) was continuously blowing air on Terry and Al. Had it not been, I'm sure that both would have collapsed from heat strokes. Terry's maniacal keyboard playing and Al's outright abuse of his guitar provided outstanding music. Keep the fan.

The drummer seemed to calmly take everything in stride, and Joey just flashed that great smile of his and looked cool.

I had a wonderful time at Jim Porter's Good Time Emporium that bitter cold January 15 evening. The walk to the car somehow seemed shorter and warmer after NRBQ's performance.

The Wild Root Rockers (Doug Cook, Tony Bowles Tim Krekel and Mel Watts) provided an entertaining opening set.

A review of their New Year's Eve performance at Air Devils Inn appears elsewhere in this issue.