November 1, 2007

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Where the set takes him
David Bromberg to jam in Concord
By Alec O’Meara aomeara@hippopress.com

Despite having released his first solo studio album in nearly two decades, Try Me One More Time, earlier this year, there is no guarantee that legendary session man David Bromberg will play anything from his new record when he visits the Capitol Center in Concord on Nov. 9.

Touring and recording are two separate entities for Bromberg, and there is no certainty that any one song will be played any given night. That’s because Bromberg takes the stage with only the first song he’ll perform on his mind, and then continues to fill out the set with whatever he feels fits the moment.

“I have no idea what I’m going to play when I’m out there,” he said. “I’ll just do what I’m feeling like at the time.”

Bromberg describes his current album as a throwback to some of his earliest work. Back in the 1960s Bromberg worked as a guide for blind gospel singer Rev. Gary Davis. In exchange for helping Davis get around to concerts in Greenwich Village, the good reverend schooled Bromberg in the ways of blues guitar.

Over the next 20 years, Bromberg was a sought-after talent for recording sessions and tours, working with acts including Bob Dylan, The Eagles, Carly Simon, and Willie Nelson. Around 1980, however Bromberg tired of the constant grind and dropped out of the scene to study the making and identifying of violins. He opened a violin store in 2002 and quietly dropped off the recording studio radar.

“I didn’t recognize it as burnout. I just thought I wasn’t a musician anymore,” Bromberg said. “I cared too much about the music to keep doing it, so I stopped.”

About 17 years after his last album, Bromberg was lured back into the studio by his wife, Nancy Jacobson, and an interest in paying tribute to his mentor, the late Rev. Davis. Jacobson was headed into the studio to work on an album with her own act, Angel Band.

“They were recording, and I couldn’t talk my way out of recording with them,” Bromberg said.

Bromberg ended up hitting it off with engineer Marc Moss, and after a series of laid-back, one- to two-song sessions, there was enough of a catalog for Try Me One More Time.

Angel Band, which Bromberg also plays in, will be opening the evening. Bromberg still doesn’t have the interest in a major tour grind, but playing for an audience is enough for now to keep getting on the bus.

“We all tend to say that we get paid for getting there. The music is free,” Bromberg said.

An Evening with David Bromberg
When: Friday, Nov. 9, at 8 p.m.
Where: Capitol Center for the Arts, 44 South Main St., Concord
Tickets: $29.50 and $40
More Info: www.ccnh.com.