Originally titled Age of Aquariums, Workshop was the last album from one of the pre-classic lineups of NRBQ. This incarnation incorporated the talents of bandleader Terry Adams (keyboard/coronet/trumpet), Joey Spampinato (bass/guitar/sax/vocals), Al Anderson (guitar/vocals), and, in his final studio appearance with the band, Tom Staley (drums). Although they had been performing with an evolving makeshift horn section -- which could (and often would) include coronet/trumpet player Terry Adams and saxophonist Joey Spampinato -- this disc also debuted the semi-permanent Whole Wheat Horn section, consisting of Terry's brother Donn Adams on trombone and Keith Spring on sax. The shift in personnel served the 'Q well, as Workshop was lauded and raved about by enthusiasts as well as pop music critics. Producer Eddie Kramer was able to further enhance the band's practically indefinable style, ranging from the undeniable Paul McCartney-influenced Spampinato rocker "Deaf, Dumb and Blind" to the understated grace and complex rhythmic syncopation of Terry Adams' "Miss Moses." Another Spampinato gem is the organic pop ballad "Mona." Instrumentally, the track is notable for Terry's accordion accents, as well as the conspicuous absence of drums. In addition to the copious originals, the guys revived the C&W-tinged "Blues Stay Away from Me," which had actually been recorded for inclusion on their previous long-player, Scraps. Also here are a pair of performance and enthusiast favorites, one being another stab at Brownie McGhee and Sonny Terry's "C'mon If You're Comin'," which reinforced the popularity of the track, the second being the 'Q's unofficial anthem: the down-home rockabilly rave-up "RC Cola & A Moon Pie."
by Lindsay Planer