Various Artists – Party For Joey – A Sweet Relief Tribute To Joey Spampinato | Album Review

Various Artists – Party For Joey – A Sweet Relief Tribute To Joey Spampinato

True North Records

14 songs time – 40:21

A diverse group of musician fans got together to salute bass player, singer-songwriter and occasional guitarist for the iconic and quirky NRBQ. Joey is currently recovering from cancer. Joey contributed the deeper tracks to the bands output.

Full disclosure-I’m only familiar with their better known songs such as “RC Cola And A Moon Pie”, “Captain Lou” and “Howard Johnson’s Got His Ho-Jo Workin'”, among others. Having said that everything here is full of fun and energy as I’m sure the original versions were. The cast is comprised of some “names” along with some lesser known players. The result is a feel good time.

Former NRBQ member Al Anderson handles vocals and guitar on the short but rockin’ “You Can’t Hide”. Los Lobos turns in a typical Los Lobos upbeat romp on “Every Boy Every Girl” that features David Hildago on vocal, guitar and accordion. No better description than bouncy for Deer Tick’s take on “That I Get Back Home”.

The marquee names of Ben Harper with Keith Richards, Charlie Musselwhite, Benmont Tench, Don Was and Don Heffington tackle “Like A Locomotive”, a tune that just chugs along(no pun intended). The riffing guitars are truly infectious. Strangely I’m hard pressed to hear Charlie Musselwhite’s harmonica after repeated listening’s, perhaps it’s blended in with the organ. Ben Harper delivers a strong vocal along with his nifty slide guitar work.

The Minus 5 includes Peter Buck and Mike Mills from REM and they along with vocalist Scott McCaughey knockout a joyfully noisy cover of “Don’t She Look Good”. Steve Forbert’s voice isn’t quite its’ usually quirky self on “Beverly”. Bonnie Raitt is backed by the current NRBQ line up of which Terry Adams is the only original member on “Green Light”. She presents her usual on point vocals and slide guitar.

Robbie Fulks shows up for a goofy and good timey “Chores”. Perennial favorites Penn And Teller also present goofiness on the spoken “Plenty Of Somethin'” where we get to hear the usually silent Teller’s voice. Joey and his wife Kami Lyle duet on the mellow “First Crush” to close out the proceedings. Kami’s hushed voice fits right in with the vibe of the song. She also supplies piano and trumpet.

Joey’s and NRBQ’s joyful quirkiness is well represented here by all involved. If this CD doesn’t tickle your musical funnybone, seek help.

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