Party For Joey: A Sweet Relief Tribute To Joey Spampinato

Various Artists

True North, 2021

REVIEW BY: David Bowling


Joey Stampinato was a founding member of NRBQ. For the past several years, he has endured a variety of health problems. Now, a number of his musical friends have gathered together to release a tribute album titled my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Party For Joey: A Sweet Relief Tribute To Joey Spampinato with the profits going into a fund to pay for his medical costs.

The famous and the less-than-famous have re-recorded 14 NRBQ songs penned by Spampinato. Los Lobos, Chris Spedding, Bonnie Raitt, Steve Forbert, Keith Richards, old band mate Al Anderson, and a cast of ten others all interpret his contributions to NRBQ spanning the years of 1967-2004.

This is a Joey Spampinato album even though other artists play the music. He was an excellent songwriter and the songs presented here demonstrate his versatility and talent.

His songs always straddled the line between rock and blues, and Bonnie Raitt & NRBQ get the 1978 tune “Green Lights” exactly right; plus, hearing a female sing the lead adds a different perspective.

The oldest song is Al Anderson’s re-creation of “You Can’t Hide,” which is from NRBQ’s 1969 debut album. It is a straightforward, basic rendition that reminds one of just how good early NRBQ was at the time. Los Lobos follows by amping up the energy in 1987’s “Every Boy, Every Girl.” Chris Spedding is always a welcome guitarist and he shines with the Nils on “That’s Alright.” On the other hand, I can do without Penn and Teller’s “Plenty Of Somethin,” but it was for charity.

Party For Joey: A Sweet Relief Tribute To Joey Spampinato is a very good and well-intentioned album that not only helps Spampinato but also reminds us of how talented he was as a part of a classic band.

Rating: B

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