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“Get Down” with NRBQ at FTC!

Founding member Terry Adams talks Brass Tacks and summertime staples

Lili Chilson

New Rhythm and Blues Quartet aka NRBQ aka “the world’s greatest bar band” has been playing for nearly 50 years, but that does not make its energy any less infectious. Pianist Terry Adams started the band in Louisville, KY with guitarist Steve Ferguson when the two were teenagers. Though members have rotated regularly throughout the years, NRBQ’s delightful hodgepodge of musical genres, heartfelt lyrics, and resolve to let loose have stayed steadfast to their sound. Since the band released their first self-titled album in 1969, no two live performances have been the same, making attending an uproarious NRBQ concert a music lover’s bucket list topper.  

On July 24, NRBQ will be rocking the house at Fairfield Theatre Company. We got the chance to chat with founding member Adams about the band’s summertime faves and NRBQ’s new album, Brass Tacks!

Have you been to this part of Connecticut yet?
We have, and Connecticut is the most fun-loving audience we know. The band always looks forward to it. We’ve been everywhere. I’m from Louisville, where the band started, but Connecticut has sort of become a second home to us.

What stop on this tour are you most excited for?
Every one of them. Every night’s different, and every [audience] matters just as much as the one before. And the one after as well.

What has been your funniest moment with a fan?
We’ve had fans get overenthusiastic before, and we’ll invite them up onstage with us. I’ll be like, “Come on! You know all the words! You go sing it then!” Actually, that’s a promise. When we come to FTC, we will pull up a guest member from the audience to sing a song with us.  

Now, NRBQ is famous for never working with a static set list, but what is your favorite song to play on tour?
All of them! We’ll definitely be playing songs from Brass Tacks this time around. Some of those songs will be played for the first time onstage. Some of them have never been performed onstage yet, so that’s exciting for us.

How does Brass Tacks differ from your other albums?
It’s exactly how we feel now. I’d say the band, we’re connected to our own hearts. So this music is JUST what we’re feeling right now. That’s a nice thing to have with you when you perform.

Do you have a favorite song on Brass Tacks?
All of them. “Love This Love We Got” has got great energy. They all do. We named the album Brass Tacks because people kept saying, “Why don’t you guys put out an album that we can get down to?

What was it like being the unofficial “house band” on The Simpsons?
[The Simpsons’ head writer and executive producer] Mike Scully has great taste in music. He’s been aware of us for quite awhile. He started using some of our music [on the show], and then he asked us to come up with an arrangement for The Simpsons theme, which I did. We played at the end of the show on live film once, as well as once being animated characters on the show.

If you could play alongside any artist or band, dead or alive, who would it be?
We’d have Elvis Presley. Then we’d have Woody Allen on the clarinet. And we’d have Bill Clinton come out with a saxophone.

What is your favorite summertime snack?
I myself like fresh juices. I like organic carrot and beet juice, or kale. I also love organic berries.

What is your favorite summer jam, either by a favorite artist or a NRBQ original?
What’s that one? “Summertime, Summa, Summa, Summertime?” By the Jamies?  “Summertime, Summertime”? That one. In fact, that too. We’ll play that when we come. How ‘bout that? We’ll do “Summertime, Summertime,” and invite a guest up onstage to sing one of our songs when we come to Fairfield!


July 24

7:45 p.m.

Tickets: $35.00

Fairfield Theatre Company StageOne

70 Sanford Street; Fairfield



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