By MIKE CHAIKEN
The legendary NRBQ was thinking about taking the summer off, explained the band’s leader Terry Adams.
But Bridge Street Live in Collinsville came calling with an offer the legendary band couldn’t refuse.
Did NRBQ want to set up stage for two nights at 41 Bridge St.
So the members of NRBQ are going to take a busman’s vacation and will take their “Summer Band Camp on Wheels” to the Connecticut venue on July 19 and 20.
Although they were planning on taking a break for the warmer months, the opportunity to do a gig at Bridge Street Live didn’t really faze Adams, who was calling from Vermont.
“We live inside the music and live for it,” said Adams.
Plus, said Adams, “Coming to Connecticut is the thing that is exciting for us… Connecticut always has been good to NRBQ.”
And what does NRBQ mean by declaring the jaunt its Summer Band Camp on Wheels? Adams explained the group will gather together in the same vehicle to head out to the show. They then will arrive the night before the gig in Collinsville and set up tents in a secret location. Then they will see how the evening affects the music the next day.
NRBQ, which is Adams, Scott Ligon, Casey McDonough, and Conrad Choucroun, is promoting its most recent album, the live set, “We Travel the Spaceways.”
The band has always been known for its live shows. And Adams said one of the things that makes the band special on stage is that they know each other so well. They intuitively know what musical journey the others will want to take.
Some live acts will play the same show from venue to venue. But NRBQ is known for shaking up its set list for each venue.
Adams said the band essentially tunes into the mood of each audience. He said that will dictate, which songs will show up in the set.
That’s not to say, Adams explained, NRBQ’s shows are complete musical chaos. Yes, he said the band tries to live in the moment. But there are certain fan favorites the band is always going to play at each show. But the fans also might hear some deep tracks that might be unexpected.
As part of the band’s willingness to shake things up from show to show, for its Summer Band Camp on Wheels at Bridge Street Live, Adams said “The Magic Box” will make its first ever appearance in Connecticut.
The “Magic Box” used to be pulled out on a regular basis during the early days of NRBQ, said Adams. And fans have been clamoring for its return.
So it will. But, said Adams, “It’s had a paint job.”
And what is the Magic Box for those not clued in to NRBQ lore?
Audience members will fill out song requests on sheets and then slip them in the Magic Box, said Adams. The band will then pull out songs at random, and if they know the track, they will play it.
“Bridge Street is the place to do it,” said Adams. It works, he said, because the band members know a lot of music.
“It could be fun,” said Adams.
“We Travel the Spaceways” is a live set the band released in May 2012. The album was recorded in a venue in Bearsville, N.Y.
Adams said the band decide to commit this particular live show for posterity because there was a certain magic that night. And, he said, “It happened to get recorded really well.”
The band’s last studio album was “Keep This Love Going,” which was released in 2011.
Although the band is at home live, Adams said the band also enjoys hitting the recording studio. “The studio is when we record new songs and haven’t played out in public,” said Adams. “We’re ready for another studio album.”
Beyond Bridge Street Live and recording a new album, Adams said the band is getting ready for a tour of Sweden.
“We’re going to be pretty busy (for the next few months),” said Adams.
NRBQ performs Friday and Saturday at 9 p.m. at Bridge Street Live, 41 Bridge St., Collinsville. Tickets are $27 and $37. For more information, go to 41BridgeStreet.com or NRBQ.com