More than 'Slightly' Bromberg
"I'm a lucky human," says David Bromberg humbly. "I've always been able to do what I want."
Bromberg, the Patriarch of Americana, or roots music, is a world-renowned, multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter whose style is an eclectic mix of bluegrass, folk, blues, jazz, ragtime, country-western and rock 'n' roll.
Bromberg has amazed audiences for 40 years and has played alongside famous musicians, including Willie Nelson, Jerry Garcia and Bob Dylan. In 2008, he was nominated for a Grammy Award for his album, "Try Me One More Time."
The David Bromberg Band plays selections from its latest CD, "Only Slightly Mad," 7:30 p.m. Oct. 25, Musikfest Café, ArtsQuest Center, SteelStacks, 101 Founders Way, Bethlehem.
"I'm quite proud of the CD," says Bromberg in a recent phone interview. "It's the best one I've done." He says that choosing his friend, Grammy-winning producer, Larry Campbell, to produce the CD was the best decision for the project because, "Larry has an in-depth knowledge of what I like to play."
How does his new work differ from his older material? "I'm a better singer," says Bromberg. "I stopped performing for 22 years and in that time I got better."
His decision to start performing after a long hiatus was simple: "I started having fun playing music again. And I took control of my schedule."
When asked about his early musical influences, Bromberg says the list is long. They include B.B. King, Albert King, Jody Stecher, Doc Watson and Bill Monroe, just to name a few.
Bromberg, born in Philadelphia and raised in Tarrytown, N.Y., started playing guitar (his admitted favorite instrument) at 13. He attended Columbia University, where he majored in music, and studied with the man who was his inspiration, Reverend Gary Davis, who he met on the Greenwich Village, New York City, blues-folk scene.
Bromberg's band is comprised of musicians and backup singers of all ages, who play bass, drums, guitar, mandolin, violins and horns. The band travels the world, most recently having toured Hawaii, Japan, Australia and Italy.
Bromberg and his wife, Nancy Josephson, live in Wilmington, Del., where they're proud members of the historic city's artist-in-residence program as owners of David Bromberg Fine Violins, a retail and repair shop.
When asked what the future holds for him, Bromberg replies with a chuckle, "World domination," then adds, "I frequently perform at World Café Live in Wilmington. We'll be playing there on New Year's Eve."
Asked if there's anything he'd like his fans to know. Bromberg replies in his usual humorous fashion: "That they can't live without the new CD."