NRBQ alive and well

by Paul Burmeister

I had the good fortune on Wednesday October 22 to see the Q live at Shank Hall (Milwaukee), thanks to a heads-up from my Louisville connection. Of course, I have seen them many times over the years, and the good news is that Wednesday's experience ranks near the top, honestly. The venue was good (great mix in the sound), the place was full of loyal fans, the band's energy and synergy was high level, and the single, long set was a lot of fun—favorites old and new, a Monk tune, and plenty of silliness.

My opinion, shared by many, is that this band is always experienced best live. There's no substitute for a show, and the live experience helps any listener better "understand" the recordings. A recent review of the Brass Tacks CD asserted that the band has become a brand, no matter its iteration or lineup. Longtime fans may not agree with this claim, but Wednesday's show proved that the essential aspects of the NRBQ sound survive nicely. I've seen the band a couple of times with guitarist and vocalist Scott Ligon. No one needs to apologize for his contributions—he brings it just fine.