Some recording artists tour ad nauseum. But that’s not so for David Bromberg.
The venerable folk-rocker has picked his spots over recent years. Bromberg, who runs a violin shop in Wilmington, DE, continues to be selective about his live dates. He’s doing a handful of shows, including a performance Saturday at the Keswick Theater.
“I don’t do every gig that I can possibly do,” Bromberg said while calling from his Wilmington shop. “I do what I can not to get burned out. I like playing places that I’ll enjoy. I don’t want to do clubs. I like doing theaters, places where people want to experience music.”
Bromberg, 65, has quite a canon of tunes. “There’s always plenty to choose from,” Bromberg said.
His range is most impressive. The unpredictable songsmith easily veers from folk, jazz, country, rock, blues and bluegrass.
“That’s always kept it interesting for me,” Bromberg said. “There’s no reason to record the same song twice.”
Bromberg’s wit has set him apart from the pack. His songs are typically quirky and humorous. Bromberg’s approach has always been unpredictable. “I think it’s more interesting that way,” Bromberg said.
The Philadelphia native, who grew up in Tarrytown, NY, never uses a set list. “One of the things I’ve never had was a set list,” Bromberg said. “I think that goes back to being in Jerry Jeff Walker’s (band) and he never had a set list and neither have I. I always know what to play next. It’s just a natural thing for me not to have a set list.
Bromberg isn’t just walking down memory lane. ‘Try Me One More Time,’ which was released in 2007, is one of his better releases. The album contains one original and a number of terrific covers. Bromberg renders excellent versions of Bob Dylan’s ‘It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry’ and Robert Johnson’s ‘Kind Hearted Woman.’
“I really enjoyed that project,” Bromberg said. “It had been awhile. (Bromberg’s last prior offering is 1990’s ‘Sideman Serenade.’)
Bromberg proved that he wasn’t finished as a recording artist. The disc scored rave reviews and the album was nominated for a Grammy Award in the category of Best Traditional Folk Album.
“That wasn’t bad at all,” Bromberg said. “That worked out very well for me. I had the opportunity to record some songs that I really love.”
Bromberg is working on a new album, which is dubbed ‘Use Me’, that should drop at some point this year.
“I’ve asked a bunch of musician friends if they would write a song for this album and so many said yes,” Bromberg said. “I’m very excited.”
Such notable troubadours as John Prine, Keb Mo and Linda Ronstadt have lent their talents to the project.
“I’m fortunate to have good friends in the business,” Bromberg said. “I asked a lot from these friends and they gave a lot back. I’m so lucky.I still have the desire to record and play shows and that’s a great thing.”
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