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Bromberg . . . makes every track shine, like the A-list session man he’s always been.
Great session players easily cross genres, and guitarist Bromberg is one of the great ones.
For Americana godfather David Bromberg, it all began with the blues. His incredible journey spans five-and-a-half decades and includes—but is not limited to—adventures with Bob Dylan, George Harrison, and Jerry Garcia, and music and life lessons from seminal blues guitarist Reverend Gary Davis, who claimed the young Bromberg as a son.
Bromberg is a musician’s musician whose legendary mastery of several stringed instruments (guitar, fiddle, Dobro, mandolin) and multiple styles led Dr. John to declare him an American icon. In producing John Hartford’s hugely influential Aereo-Plain LP, Bromberg even coinvented a genre: Newgrass. Add in a period of self-imposed exile from his passion (1980–2002), during which he became a renowned violin expert and Wilmington, Delaware’s cultural ambassador; top that off with a triumphant return to music-making, and you have an amazing tale leading back to one place: the blues.
Now, with The Blues, the Whole Blues, and Nothing But the Blues, his first release for Red House Records, Bromberg and multi-Grammy-winning producer/accompanist Larry Campbell (Dylan, Levon Helm, Paul Simon) focus on the music Bromberg discovered in high school, when, circa late 1950s, he was introduced to a friend’s dad’s collection of blues 78s. He’d only just taken up guitar as a means to pass the time while in bed with the measles.
“I loved those 78s so much,” says Bromberg, “I taped them on a portable reel-to-reel, so I could listen at home and learn.”
That love is evident in The Blues, the Whole Blues and Nothing But the Blues. The album is both blues primer and an opportunity to witness a master embracing this distinctly American music with passion and grace.