Multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter David Bromberg, still apologetically unique, continues his path with a substantive music/video release, Big Road, including 12 new tracks, five hi-def performance videos and a mini-documentary detailing the album’s creation.
David Bromberg’s path can be described as circular, spiral or a Fibonacci sequence, but it is definitely unique. Bromberg started out at 20, leaving college and heading south to another world eight miles away: from Columbia University to Greenwich Village, where he played in coffeehouses and was mentored by Rev Gary Davis, Doc Watson and Mississippi John Hurt, jamming and building his own reputation.
By 30, he’d recorded with Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, John Prine and Ringo Starr, written with George Harrison, found Linda Ronstadt her breakthrough hit song “Long, Long Time” and, in an odd circle, recorded six albums of his own for Columbia Records—no relation to the University—in five years. The wunderkind of American roots music also wrote, toured, and maintained a hectic schedule of session work, playing guitar, Dobro, mandolin, and fiddle on albums by Bob Dylan, Carly Simon, the Eagles, Ringo Starr, Willie Nelson, Gordon Lightfoot, Bonnie Raitt, Doug Sahm, and many more. Then he quit.
In 1980, at the height of this success, Bromberg moved to Chicago to study violin building, and eventually opened a retail violin shop in Wilmington, DE, playing only occasional live shows for nearly two decades. During that time, he released only two albums, one of which, Try Me One More Time, was Grammy-nominated.
His musical expression, melding bluegrass, blues, folk, jazz, C&W and rock and roll, is still inimitable and his scope of knowledge is encyclopedic. Bromberg continues to carve out his own winding, ever-widening path, which now leads to Big Road.
About the rollicking title track, “Big Road,” David Bromberg told Elmore, “This is a Tommy Johnson tune from 1928 that we updated a bit. Hopefully not too much. I originally recorded it solo on my 2006 album “Try Me One More Time,” but this version makes use of the entire band which is what our new album is all about—it’s a BAND album. Larry Campbell, who produced the record, wrote a wonderful horn chart, and we had Bob Stewart, who was part of Taj Mahal’s tuba band, on tuba for this. Mark Cosgrove and I play our interpretations of Tommy Johnson’s guitar solo and Nate Grower just tears it up on fiddle. This video really shows what this band is all about—a great group feel that swings. Hope you like it!”
Bromberg’s band’s current lineup includes Mark Cosgrove (guitar, mandolin, vocals), Nate Grower (fiddle, mandolin, guitar, vocals), Josh Kanusky (drums, vocals) and Suavek Zaniesienko (bass, vocals).
Joining the band for Big Road: keyboardist Dan Walker on (piano, organ and accordion), Bromberg regulars Birch Johnson (trombone), Jon-Erik Kellso (trumpet), Matt Koza (tenor sax), Bob Stewart (tuba) and Larry Campbell (mandolin and pedal steel).
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