TARRQ, now . . . NRBQ!
Quartet Photos

quartet"OK, NRBQ was a great band, and pianist Terry Adams has now built another one." So began the Schenectady Gazette's review of the very first show of the very first tour of The Terry Adams Rock & Roll Quartet in November 2007.

At that moment in time, Terry Adams, NRBQ founding member, driving force, and irrepressible keyboardist since the band's beginning in the late 1960s, had been bringing his unique musical vision to the listening public for decades, on numerous albums recorded with the New Rhythm & Blues Quartet and at countless live performances around the world.

But since October of 2004, the last line-up of NRBQ had not appeared together onstage, except for a "reunion" concert in the spring of 2007. That fall, Terry unveiled his new band. It would not be until the spring of 2011 that Terry would reveal, in a candid letter posted on the NRBQ web site, that he'd been rebuilding his health for three years, following a cancer diagnosis. He'd then steadily worked to rebuild the band. He also announced that, after three and a half years of making music together – both on the road and in the studio – the Terry Adams Rock & Roll Quartet would be resuming the name NRBQ with the release of the new studio CD Keep This Love Goin'.

When Terry set out in the summer of 2007 to recruit new musicians, he chose three players based on simple but hard-to-find criteria – talent, enthusiasm, and the desire to make music for the right reasons. On guitar and vocals was Chicago's Scott Ligon, of whom the Chicago Reader said, "he's earned a reputation as a versatile musician with a vast repertoire." For his part, Scott was quoted at the time saying his favorite living musicians were Paul McCartney and Terry Adams. A great musical partnership was born. "I always ask musicians to send me tapes, so I can tell what they're in to," says Terry. "Scott sent me a tape of his brother Chris beating him up when he was five, he's just going 'ow, ow, ow.' I knew he was the right guy at that moment." On the recommendation of old friend David Greenberger, Terry contacted Philadelphia's Pete Donnelly, of The Figgs, for the bass position. And on drums was Conrad Choucroun from Austin, who has played with numerous Texas musicians including Bob Schneider, The Damnations, and Kelly Willis. Back in the early 90s, while on a tour through Texas, Terry and Tom Ardolino were watching Conrad play drums with Banana Blender Surprise. Says Terry, "We were both impressed and at one point Tom looked at me and said, 'If anything ever happens to me, that's the guy.' When I was looking for a drummer, suddenly that memory hit me."

Like all the line-ups Terry had presided over through the years, his Rock & Roll Quartet never played the same show twice. Sound familiar? "Terry Adams treats set lists the way 7-Up treats caffeine. Never had one, never will," said the Raleigh NC News & Observer. A brilliant bandleader, Terry continued to call the songs during live performances. In short order, the Quartet had command of countless Adams originals and arrangements from the NRBQ catalog, but were equally at home with a steady supply of new Adams compositions and his unique arrangements of both popular and obscure songs. The Terry Adams Rock & Roll Quartet toured in Japan in October 2009 and ended that year with an appearance as the Official Three Stooges New Year's Eve Marathon house band for Boston's TV38. In early 2010, the band released Crazy 8's, ten tracks recorded live over one weekend in May '09, and made their first European trip in the summer of 2010.

The new studio album Keep This Love Goin' was recorded through the end of 2010 and into 2011. Adams, Ligon, and Donnelly all contributed original compositions, separately and together. All four contributed vocals.

And then the band went on tour in January 2011. The fans posted on facebook:

That band is unbelievable . . . When it was all over, people were hugging and walking around in a daze like there had been an earthquake or something . . .There’s simply no better music in the world . . . Thank you for being the only band that could ever make me dance . . . one of the top ten shows I have ever seen and most of the others are just memories from back in the day . . . Absolutely incredible . . . Returning to reality tomorrow is not going to be easy . . . That was TOO MUCH FUN!!!!

It was time to call the music what it was. So with the release of Keep This Love Goin’ in April 2011, TARRQ became known as NRBQ.

The band played three shows that first April weekend in New York, the last of which was at The Linda, in Albany, where they had debuted back in November of 2007. Said the Albany Times-Union, "…the current incarnation lived up to the legacy. They reclaimed not only the vast NRBQ catalog of songs and loose-as-a-goose sound, but also the band’s wildly unpredictable spirit on stage. . .their willingness to step way out on a limb has always been one of NRBQ’s most endearing qualities, and in the contemporary world of pre-packaged, cookie-cutter pop stars, it’s sure great to have them back." Added the Schenectady Gazette, "They felt so good and they made everyone feel good too."

Newest Q member is Casey McDonough on bass & vocals, who joined the band in September 2012, after NRBQ and Pete mutually agreed to part company due to Pete’s many other commitments.

Casey was in perfect synch with Conrad immediately, completing a powerful rhythm section, and he also brought a rare and sensitive approach to vocals, whether taking the lead or harmonizing with Scott. People in the audience at the first shows with Casey, in Fall River, MA and Collinsville, CT, couldn't believe he hadn't been in the band for years!

Check out these performance clips on YouTube:
In concert
Euclid Records instore
Three Stooges Marathon
Get A Grip
Nature's Gonna Pay You Back
That's Neat, That's Nice