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NRBQ|Dragnet

Dragnet

NRBQ

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Is one founding band member enough to carry on a legacy? It is when the music stays vital, and for the legendary band NRBQ, that is becoming a problem. In their '70s-to-early-'80s heyday, NRBQ was a powerhouse live act whose musical mélange was genreless, literally borrowing from everyone from Sun Ra to Rogers & Hammerstein and always with a wry sense of humor about itself and the world around them. Here on the band's first album in eight years, Terry Adams—the last founding member—and three fairly recent recruits soldier on. For NRBQ fans or longtime devotees of Adams' varied career, that may be enough. While guitarist Scott Ligon (who joined in 2007) and bassist Casey McDonough (2012) are now settled members who can reproduce reasonably faithful versions of NRBQ classics, and new drummer John Perrin seems to fit right in, they continue to suffer, however, from comparisons with the many earlier iterations of the band. Like all latter-day NRBQ projects (the ones recorded without such luminaries as Al Anderson, Joey and Johnny Spampinato, Tom Ardolino and other hallowed past members), this is a Terry Adams solo project. He wrote or co-wrote seven of the album's 11 short tracks and any reflections of the band's glorious past now lie primarily with Adam's songwriting which here is running thin. Depending on your abiding love for the NRBQ mystique, tracks like the spoken word piece, "L-O-N-E Lone-ly," or the goof, "Five More Miles," can either be thought of as Adams showing his experimental side—he once made an album with Sun Ra stalwart Marshall Allen—or amateurish filler nonsense. While Ligon adds "I Like Her So Much" and "That Makes Me a Fool," neither are particularly catchy nor moving. Only in Adams' "Miss Goody Two Shoes" (whose title screams classic NRBQ), does he bear down and create the kind of silly, tuneful pop confection he's been so adept at over the past 40 years. "Sunflower," which was recorded for the 2018 film, Change in the Air feels like an unfinished fragment. And the instrumental title track (a cover of the theme to '50s TV show Dragnet), which seemingly offered innumerable possibilities for creativity, chunks along without a spark or any trademark NRBQ snark. While Adams refuses to quit, and that's good news for NRBQ fans who still pay attention to anything with the band's name on it, this new music is not adding much to the band's reputation; the clock is running down on their legacy. © Robert Baird/Qobuz

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Dragnet

NRBQ

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1
Where's My Pebble?
00:04:19

Terry Adams, Composer - NRBQ, MainArtist - Scott Ligon, Composer - Big Notes, Producer

(C) 2021 Omnivore Recordings, a division of Omnivore Entertainment Group, LLC. LLC. (P) 2021 Big Notes, under exclusive license to Omnivore Recordings.

2
I Like Her so Much
00:02:17

NRBQ, MainArtist - Scott Ligon, Composer - Big Notes, Producer

(C) 2021 Omnivore Recordings, a division of Omnivore Entertainment Group, LLC. LLC. (P) 2021 Big Notes, under exclusive license to Omnivore Recordings.

3
Memo Song
00:03:28

NRBQ, MainArtist - John Perrin, Composer - Big Notes, Producer

(C) 2021 Omnivore Recordings, a division of Omnivore Entertainment Group, LLC. LLC. (P) 2021 Big Notes, under exclusive license to Omnivore Recordings.

4
Miss Goody Two Shoes
00:03:27

Terry Adams, Composer - NRBQ, MainArtist - Big Notes, Producer

(C) 2021 Omnivore Recordings, a division of Omnivore Entertainment Group, LLC. LLC. (P) 2021 Big Notes, under exclusive license to Omnivore Recordings.

5
You Can't Change People
00:02:04

Terry Adams, Composer - NRBQ, MainArtist - Big Notes, Producer

(C) 2021 Omnivore Recordings, a division of Omnivore Entertainment Group, LLC. LLC. (P) 2021 Big Notes, under exclusive license to Omnivore Recordings.

6
Dragnet
00:03:18

Walter Schumann, Composer - NRBQ, MainArtist - arr. by Terry Adams, Composer - Big Notes, Producer

(C) 2021 Omnivore Recordings, a division of Omnivore Entertainment Group, LLC. LLC. (P) 2021 Big Notes, under exclusive license to Omnivore Recordings.

7
The Moon and Other Things
00:02:34

NRBQ, MainArtist - Casey McDonough, Composer - Big Notes, Producer

(C) 2021 Omnivore Recordings, a division of Omnivore Entertainment Group, LLC. LLC. (P) 2021 Big Notes, under exclusive license to Omnivore Recordings.

8
That Makes Me a Fool
00:02:51

NRBQ, MainArtist - Scott Ligon, Composer - Big Notes, Producer

(C) 2021 Omnivore Recordings, a division of Omnivore Entertainment Group, LLC. LLC. (P) 2021 Big Notes, under exclusive license to Omnivore Recordings.

9
Five More Miles
00:02:39

Terry Adams, Composer - NRBQ, MainArtist - Big Notes, Producer

(C) 2021 Omnivore Recordings, a division of Omnivore Entertainment Group, LLC. LLC. (P) 2021 Big Notes, under exclusive license to Omnivore Recordings.

10
L-O-N-E Lone-Ly
00:03:23

Terry Adams, Composer - NRBQ, MainArtist - Big Notes, Producer

(C) 2021 Omnivore Recordings, a division of Omnivore Entertainment Group, LLC. LLC. (P) 2021 Big Notes, under exclusive license to Omnivore Recordings.

11
Sunflower
00:02:13

Terry Adams, Composer - NRBQ, MainArtist - Big Notes, Producer

(C) 2021 Omnivore Recordings, a division of Omnivore Entertainment Group, LLC. LLC. (P) 2021 Big Notes, under exclusive license to Omnivore Recordings.

Album Description

Is one founding band member enough to carry on a legacy? It is when the music stays vital, and for the legendary band NRBQ, that is becoming a problem. In their '70s-to-early-'80s heyday, NRBQ was a powerhouse live act whose musical mélange was genreless, literally borrowing from everyone from Sun Ra to Rogers & Hammerstein and always with a wry sense of humor about itself and the world around them. Here on the band's first album in eight years, Terry Adams—the last founding member—and three fairly recent recruits soldier on. For NRBQ fans or longtime devotees of Adams' varied career, that may be enough. While guitarist Scott Ligon (who joined in 2007) and bassist Casey McDonough (2012) are now settled members who can reproduce reasonably faithful versions of NRBQ classics, and new drummer John Perrin seems to fit right in, they continue to suffer, however, from comparisons with the many earlier iterations of the band. Like all latter-day NRBQ projects (the ones recorded without such luminaries as Al Anderson, Joey and Johnny Spampinato, Tom Ardolino and other hallowed past members), this is a Terry Adams solo project. He wrote or co-wrote seven of the album's 11 short tracks and any reflections of the band's glorious past now lie primarily with Adam's songwriting which here is running thin. Depending on your abiding love for the NRBQ mystique, tracks like the spoken word piece, "L-O-N-E Lone-ly," or the goof, "Five More Miles," can either be thought of as Adams showing his experimental side—he once made an album with Sun Ra stalwart Marshall Allen—or amateurish filler nonsense. While Ligon adds "I Like Her So Much" and "That Makes Me a Fool," neither are particularly catchy nor moving. Only in Adams' "Miss Goody Two Shoes" (whose title screams classic NRBQ), does he bear down and create the kind of silly, tuneful pop confection he's been so adept at over the past 40 years. "Sunflower," which was recorded for the 2018 film, Change in the Air feels like an unfinished fragment. And the instrumental title track (a cover of the theme to '50s TV show Dragnet), which seemingly offered innumerable possibilities for creativity, chunks along without a spark or any trademark NRBQ snark. While Adams refuses to quit, and that's good news for NRBQ fans who still pay attention to anything with the band's name on it, this new music is not adding much to the band's reputation; the clock is running down on their legacy. © Robert Baird/Qobuz

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