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I checked David Bromberg's website and noticed that I was present at his fourth solo gig ever in Tarrytown New York when he and a few dozen others helped Pete Seeger raise some money for Hudson River restoration.  A group of nomadic hippie types were milling about when the stage announcement came that the next artist up was to be a David Bromberg.  Suddenly, there was a scramble for the good seats on the lawn and everyone with a seat seemed to crawl it forward some.  I didn't really know why all the buzz and excitement, but in 1969 I was still more a Beatlemaniac than a folkie.  Once he started playing that acoustic guitar it was like a bomb went off and everybody seemed to start to dance and sway (which isn't easy when you're sitting).  Then he launched into a 20 minute Bullfrog Blues narrative with the bluesy guitar riff repeated till it numbed your mind.  After that I went to see him every time he came anywhere near my vicinity.  Today he alternates between solo gigs, gigs with his wife's Angel Band and his own Acoustic Quartet and Electric Big Band.  And in his spare time he is the country's foremost expert on violins which he also makes and plays rather nicely.  Many shows open with a version of "Deal" and this one is as good as any and better than most.  (The vocal is not terrifically recorded but it's ok).  Anyone who thinks they are a hotshot guitarist needs to try to match DB note for note here for a few seconds....

I saw DB with Angel Band towards the end of the W misadministration and David, who is not normally too vocal about his politics, gave a 5 minute speech about the dangers to habeus corpus that Dubya was inflicting on the country.  He added that even if you agreed with the current President's policies, what if the next one was not to your liking?  Freedom's once relinquished are nearly impossible to restore.  A line in another blues song called "I'll take you back" said that he'd take his errant gf back "when water ain't wet and George W paid off the national debt!"  I about lost my grip at that point.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (6+ / 0-)

    'cause Mr. Charlie told me so - Robert Hunter/"Pigpen" McKernan

    by pholkiephred on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:00:09 AM PDT

  •  One of my favorites. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KenBee

    My sister got me listening to him in the mid seventies, and I've been a fan ever since.

    A line in another blues song called "I'll take you back" said that he'd take his errant gf back "when water ain't wet and George W paid off the national debt!"  I about lost my grip at that point.
    Another line from that song, something along the lines of "when dubya finds the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq!"

    Not all fans appreciate his politics, though, and I remember some complaining about it shortly after 9/11.  He'd taken to introducing the song "Kaatskill Serenade" by observing that he barely recognized the country he was living in any more.

    For those who can't get to see him, there's an excellent DVD out featuring David with the big band recorded live at the Count Basie Theater in Red Bank, NJ.  Well worth a look.

    •  politics (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bill W

      Yeah, that was the habeus corpus rap I referred to.  The conservative area I saw him in was equally ambivalent about the speech but it came from DEEP in his heart or he'd have never gone there.

      I have the DVD you mention as well as one from Soundstage with phoebe Snow.    Both great.

      'cause Mr. Charlie told me so - Robert Hunter/"Pigpen" McKernan

      by pholkiephred on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 03:20:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  another DVD I found... (0+ / 0-)

        ...is an old PBS special with David and John Sebastian together.  I'd always kind of thought Sebastian was a bit of a lightweight, but he plays some serious blues harmonica.  

        I love that Soundstage performance as well, if for no other reason than oohing and aahing over how young everyone looks.  I was disappointed recently, looking at Bromberg's web page, that Curt Linburg is no longer playing trombone with the big band. I remember seeing a show about ten years ago where Bromberg referred to the Linburg/Firmin/Ecklund lineup as the "AARP horn section".  And it was the same three guys that were with him the first time I saw him in the seventies.

  •  Sister tell your cousin (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bill W, KenBee

  •  Thanks for this! (0+ / 0-)

    I ended up listening to the whole string of videos! Had almost forgotten about Bromberg, but what a great guitar player he is. And he seems like a great, genial, funny guy as well.

    •  He Is! (0+ / 0-)

      He's a humorist with a large vocabulary and a guitarist with fingers that fly.  Pretty decent song writer too.

      'cause Mr. Charlie told me so - Robert Hunter/"Pigpen" McKernan

      by pholkiephred on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 03:14:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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