For Americana godfather David Bromberg, it all began with the blues.
His incredible journey spans five-and-a-half decades, and includes – but is not limited to – adventures with Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Jerry Garcia, and music and life lessons from seminal blues guitarist Reverend Gary Davis, who claimed the young Bromberg as a son. A musician’s musician, Bromberg’s mastery of several stringed instruments (guitar, fiddle, Dobro, mandolin), and multiple styles is legendary, leading Dr. John to declare him an American icon. In producing John Hartford’s hugely influential Aereo-Plain LP, Bromberg even co-invented a genre: Newgrass.
Add in a period of self-imposed exile from his passion (1980-2002), during which he became a renowned violin expert, and Wilmington, Delaware’s cultural ambassador; top that off with a triumphant return to music-making, and you have an amazing tale leading back to one place: the blues.
Now, with The Blues, the Whole Blues, and Nothing But the Blues, his first release for Red House Records, Bromberg and multi-Grammy-winning producer/accompanist Larry Campbell (Dylan, Levon Helm, Paul Simon) focus on the music David discovered in high school, when, circa late 50s, he was introduced to a friend’s dad’s collection of blues 78s. He’d only just taken up guitar as a means to pass the time while in bed with the measles.
“I loved those 78s so much,” says David, “I taped them on a portable reel-to-reel, so I could listen at home and learn.”
That love is evident in The Blues, the Whole Blues and Nothing But the Blues. The album is both blues primer and an opportunity to witness a master embracing this distinctly American music with passion and grace.
Although he remains the proprietor of the beloved David Bromberg Fine Violins in Wilmington, Delaware – “I love my shop,” he says – Bromberg makes time to tour with his quintet, and he’s already included every song in his live repertoire (save “Yield Not,” which requires a choir), from The Blues, the Whole Blues and Nothing But the Blues. As ever, he brings his characteristic devotional intensity to the music, invigorating his surprise third act with the same passion he felt as a teen, spinning those blues 78s, just before the road called.
About The TriSonics:
The TriSonics play original acoustic instrumentals spanning roots, folk, bluegrass, blues and jazz. Virtuoso soloing and dynamic, intricate arrangements are their trademarks, featured on three CD’s to date. The players are...
Michael William Levine (Dobro)
Producer, composer, session player and performer, two solo albums. Credits include (guitar, dobro and/or pedal steel) Tanya Tucker, Sara Evans, Larry Gatlin, Mac Davis and Vassar Clements, Broadway, commercials. Founding member of Lil’ Kitty and the Tom Cats, The TriSonics’ recent electric incarnation.
Don Sarlin (Guitar)
Performer, composer. Credits include Van Morrison, Esther Phillips, Mary Travers, David Bromberg (on bass), Dean Friedman. Appearances include Isle of Wight Festival, Avery Fisher Hall, Boston Symphony Hall, Massey Hall, SNL, Today. Founding member of Lil’ Kitty and the Tom Cats, The TriSonics’ recent electric incarnation.
Jim Fenhagen (Bass)
Performer. Credits include Walter Egan (Magnet and Steel), various touring groups. Founding member of Big Mamou, NY Cajun/Zydeco/country band. Multi-Emmy award-winning TV set designer (The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, The Daily Show, This Week Tonight with John Oliver). Founding member of Lil’ Kitty and the Tom Cats, The TriSonics’ recent electric incarnation.