Music's Been Good to You

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This single-CD compilation includes a dozen-and-a-half previously unearthed live and studio nuggets spanning nearly three decades of the New Rhythm and Blues Quartet [read: NRBQ]. Even though these cuts are geared towards the avid enthusiast, there is plenty of evidence to support the assertion that the band may quite possibly be rock 'n' roll's best-kept secret. While all the music is being issued here for the first time, there are a few familiar titles, such as a live 1996 rendering of "Captain Lou" that features vocals from the 'guiding light' himself. The earliest live sides are easily among the best, and include a remake of the jive masterpiece "Dig" by Nervous Norvus (born Jimmy Drake), as well as Terry Adams' (keyboard/vocals) jazzy and dark "Just Creep." Highlighting the latter is also a frenetic solo from Whole Wheat Horns member Keith Spring. Big Al Anderson (guitar/vocals) is front-and-center on the bouncy and funky cover of the pop music standard "My Blue Heaven," and includes a notable homage to Fats Domino's version of the song. The set lives up to its name as NRBQ delivers original rockers such as "Don't Talk About My Music," and an instrumental version of Adams' "Girl Scout Cookies," which ended up nearly a decade later on the Message For The Mess Age (1994) long-player. There are a few other works that enthusiasts may be familiar with. Among them are Joey Spampinato's (bass/vocals/acoustic guitar) pop ballads "I Love Her She Loves Me" and "Still In School," Adams' "Santa's Birthday" -- replete with sly Thelonious Monk-like chord changes as well as copious contributions from the Sun Ra horn section of Tyrone Hill (trombone) and Dave Gordon (trumpet). There are also a couple of fun throwaway tunes, for example, the brief "Program Them Computers" mantra, the Dadaist "Groovy Café" and "Pawpunch" -- the latter a short studio snippet featuring all four band members playing the same piano at the same time. All said, Music's Been Good to You (2002) is a fun collection that captures the free spirited essence of da 'Q.

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