Interview by Scott Preston
David Bromberg’s live show remains as unique as ever. Concerts by David and his band are extraordinary events, and performances follow no set pattern of selection. Give and take between performer is complete, spontaneous, and totally sincere. As the NY Times noted “He has such control of his audience that he can, at one moment, hold it in his hand with a tender, touching yet funny anecdotal song, and then set it romping and stomping with a raucous bit of raunch. He is electrifying.”
A singular performer/writer/arranger, Bromberg’s remarkable musical versatility and innovative resourcefulness have earned vast critical and popular acclaim. He is also impossible to classify: As one critic perceptively wrote, “David Bromberg fits no pigeonholes. He is part of everything contemporarily musical. He is a product of blues, country, jazz, folk, and classical music. From his early success as a guitar virtuoso, Mr. Bromberg has developed into a brilliant entertainer.” (from davidbromberg.net)
Cincy Groove: I have noticed you have lived in numerous places over the years, what made you settle in Delaware?
David Bromberg: I had been in Chicago for 22 years, and my wife and I didn’t want to see another Chicago winter. Its a wonderful town but the winters are brutal. My wife and I are both east coast people and we wanted to live someplace a little bit warmer but didn’t want to live way down south. So Delaware seemed like a good compromise.
Cincy Groove: Are you working on any new projects?
David Bromberg: I’m working on a bunch of things all at once. I have a live cd from a concert I did in New York in 1982 that I have been selling on the website and at concerts. Appleseed Records wants to officially release it, so we will put it out with the same cover so people don’t buy it twice. Then there are 3 other albums I for the most part are making at the same time. I am making one that is kind of a Chicago styles blues album, one that is a big band album, and I haven’t started the third one yet. It will be with my quartet.
Cincy Groove: What brought about you going to school for violin making?
David Bromberg: Your talking about 30 years ago. What happened was I was touring at an insane rate. I was burned out, but I didn’t believe I could get burned out so I decided I wasn’t a musician anymore. I thought about it at home for about a week, I mean my whole identity at that point in my life was being a musician. I decided I needed to find another way to live my life. Out in California, where I was living at the time in Marion County, the only intellectual stimulation that I got was at a violin shop. In the violin shop it fascinated me that someone could look at a violin and tell you who made it, and when and where it was made. So I went to violin making school, graduated, and spent the next 20 or so years studying violins. I played out a little bit in that time, but only rarely.
Cincy Groove: You recently just started playing out again correct?
David Bromberg: Yeah, I try to go out at least twice a month for 3 – 4 days at a time. I do a lot of festivals, I do very few bar and club shows. I’m just glad I don’t have to play 150 shows a year anymore.
Cincy Groove: I noticed you have appeared on over 100 albums over your career, are there a few that stick out in your mind as some of your favorites?
David Bromberg: Well, there is a bunch of them. The first Dylan album I worked on was wonderful. I’m also on that Rick Derringer record, Rock and Roll Hoochie Choo, that was a lot of fun.
Cincy Groove: Are there any young musicians that impress you?
David Bromberg: I enjoy listening to Olla Bell. There is also this young guitar player, John Duke Lippincott, he sometimes goes by Johnny Duke. He is the most brilliant guitar player from right here in Wilmington, DE.
Cincy Groove: I noticed you have played at the Fur Peace Ranch (Jorma Kaukonen’s guitar camp) here in Ohio. How was your experience there?
David Bromberg: I have played there a couple times. Jorma is one of the better people walking the Earth. There are very few things he could ask me to do that I wouldn’t immediately say yes to.
Upcoming David Bromberg tour dates:
for complete show details visit davidbromberg.net
David is currently touring with his quartet (DBQ), his big band (DBB), solo (DB) and also as a member of the group Angel Band (AB).
06/06/08 AB The Stone Church Newmarket, NH
06/07/08 AB Regatta Bar Cambridge, MA
06/11/08 DBQ / AB Riverbend Festival Chattanooga, TN
06/12/08 DB Randy Wood Presents Bloomingdale, GA
06/20/08 AB brennan coffee house Jersey City, NJ
06/21/08 DB / AB Brigeton Festival Millville, NJ
06/27/08 AB XPN Free @ Noon Concert Philadelphia, PA
07/06/08 DB / AB Little Theatre (matinee) New Haven, CT
07/12/08 AB Xponential Music Festival Camden, NJ
07/18/08 DB / AB Nevada Country Fairgrounds Grass Valley, CA
07/19/08 DB / AB Petaluma, CA
07/28/08 DB / AB Woodsongs Radio Concert Lexington, KY
08/01/08 DB / AB Aladdin Theater Portland, OR
08/02/08 DB / AB Robert Hawkins Amphitheatre Reno, NV
08/09/08 DB / AB Villages at Copper Mountain Copper MNT, CO
08/31/08 DBQ Rhythm & Roots Festival Charelstown, RI
09/06/08 DBQ / AB Bethel Woods Woodstock, NY
09/26/08 DBQ / AB German House Theater Rochester, NY
09/27/08 DBQ Clinton, CTRL High School Clinton, NY
10/25/08 DB / AB Fur Peace Ranch Pomeroy, Ohio
11/22/08 DBQ / AB Miller Center for PA Reading, PA
02/06/09 DBB / AB Count Basie Theater Red Bank, NJ
02/07/09 DBB / AB / Nat McMaster Kimmel Center Philadelphia, PA
02/08/09 DBB / AB NJPAC Newark, NJ
03/07/09 DB / AB Wilm Music Sc. Benefit Wilmington, DE