Archive for September, 2012

The Wood & Wire Wonder of David Bromberg

September 30, 2012 2 comments

Bob Kinney Words and Photos

 I first experienced the wonder of David Bromberg in the mid-70s when he and his 12-member band (even with a horn section) played in the chapel of Denison University in Central Ohio –

where I worked through most of the 70s until I moved to Austin for its music in 1978.

It was a magical night. We had been listening to his early albums and there he was with his band strung out across the chapel stage and playing all the tunes still quite new to us.

Students later on cooked up a ton of spaghetti and shared it with the musicians after the show.

The David Bromberg Quartet took me fully back to that fun time as they made their debut at Antone’s in Austin on a full moon September 30 with a two-plus hour show that was a true delight. David, now aged an energetic 66 – just like me – rocked the joint with blues and rock to traditional folk and bluegrass. Bromberg’s voice is as subtle and strong as decades ago and his guitar playing – acoustic and electric (in addition to mandolin) was moving and – as always – achingly adept. Two stunning guitar players joined a deft fiddle player and a superb electric bass – all exemplary – to accompany David wherever he went. Bromberg has played with so many music greats from Bob Dylan, the Eagles and Ringo Starr to Levon Helm, Willie Nelson and Carly Simon.

In the bands he has formed, David always surrounds himself with great musicians who share his love of playing while cherishing and thus infusing musical history.

David’s many personas – from unabashed lover who rejoices in driving you all night long to a righteously indignant and totally pissed-off just-dropped lover – infuse his songs with heartfelt passion on many levels.

David ended the evening saying his long-time friend  Austinite Jerry Jeff Walker could not be with him as he had another gig at the same time in Austin.

David then began playing his iconic “Mister Bojangles” – a song that he performed many, many times with Jerry Jeff early in his career.

At the very top of Bromberg’s website – – Jerry Jeff deftly sums up the wonder of David Bromberg –

“The reason man created stringed instruments. David touched them with a lover’s fingers and they moaned that true love right back at him. Wood and wire and flesh spoke.”

 Twas’ a fine evening of music stretched back to the 70s and proved just as wonderous four-plus decades later.

Bob Kinney Words & Photos

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