At its best, American music draws from a number of deep wells. Older genres such as…
- Posted on Jan 7th 2012 3:05PM by Kenneth Partridge
Phil Han, Getty Images
Ardolino joined NRBQ -- short for New Rhythm and Blues Quartet -- in 1974, taking over for original timekeeper Tom Staley. Over the next 30 years, Ardolino played on 15 studio albums, leaving his mark on songs that would earn the group a fervent cult following, if limited mainstream success.
NRBQ's fan base is said to include Paul McCartney, Elvis Costello and Bob Dylan, and their songs have been covered by everyone from Bonnie Raitt to She & Him, who recorded 'Ridin' in My Car' for 2010's 'Volume Two' and 'Christmas Wish' for their recent holiday album.
"He was a great drummer and a great guy," fellow NRBQ alum Al Anderson told the Courant. "He had a totally unique style of drumming that nobody can ever duplicate. That was one of the baddest rhythm sections in the world."
After NRBQ went on hiatus in 2004, Ardolino remained active in music and participated in various reunion shows. He also released a solo album, played on friends' recordings and even worked on the soundtrack to a film shown in driver's-ed classes around the country. According to Jim Chapdelaine, the producer behind the film project, Ardolino was hired to drum in a "nu-metal" style, but when he refused, opting for a more swinging beat, he inadvertently created a new sound: "happy metal."
"He was a beloved guy who didn't know how beloved he was," Chapedlaine said.
Watch NRBQ Perform 'Ridin' in My Car'