DAVID BROMBERG'S BIG BAND
Offers a Course on Musical Diversity at WPU
A SoundPress.net Feature Article by Rich and Laura Lynch

Multi-instrumentalist David Bromberg has played with everyone and has toured everywhere. He is capable of fronting a bold big band or entrancing an audience with an acoustic instrument. On March 22, 2013, David Bromberg's Big Band appeared at the Shea Center for Performing Arts in Wayne, New Jersey .

David Bromberg and His Big Band Offer a Course on Musical Diversity at WPU
David Bromberg and his Big Band in action in Wayne, New Jersey.

David grew up in Tarrytown, New York. Bromberg listened to a wide range of music and picked up the guitar at age 13. Over time he would master the guitar and other stringed instruments. Bromberg has backed and performed with many musicians, listing Bob Dylan, Jerry Garcia, The Eagles and Willie Nelson on his voluminous discography.

Since the 1970's, David has also enjoyed success as a solo artist. He is known for an extensive span of styles including blues, bluegrass, country, ethnic, folk, jazz and rock. His latest Americana album Use Me was released in 2011 and features such well known artists as Dr. John, Linda Ronstadt, the late Levon Helm and Widespread Panic.

The stage was filled with amps and instruments. David started with an electric guitar leading the band through "Sloppy Drunk", which was anything but sloppy. Bromberg's fret work was fluid and the other band members skillfully added flavors to the song. Sticking to a bluesy structure they performed "I'll Take You Back" that showcased expansive instrumentation and solos from the group. The sarcastic lyrics implied that Bromberg might take the girl back on the "12th of never".

David Bromberg and His Big Band Offer a Course on Musical Diversity at WPU
Bromberg added ample licks and tasty slide to the mix all night long.

Broken relationships were a prevailing theme in the setlist as told through a broad range of styles (blues, bluegrass, country, Irish, jazz, R&B and rock) that was presented over the course of 18 songs on Friday night.

David switched to an acoustic guitar for a beguiling bluegrass version of "Dark Hollow" with the unique twist of horns mixed into the blend. The song featured a feisty fiddle part, one of many fine solos from David's band. This was another theme throughout the concert. The show was not just about David but about musicianship and sound.

"Just before tonight show I got a call from President Obama," jested David. He stated that they discussed how to help the economy with the conclusion being "bring a lot of shit to sell." David complied and said that some of the band members also had product available. "It you love your country you will buy as much crap as you can carry, if there is anything left the terrorists win." Humor was also a part of the evening's festivities.

David Bromberg and His Big Band Offer a Course on Musical Diversity at WPU
Butch Amiot, David Bromberg and Mark Cosgrove made for a powerful core on guitar.

David introduced Mark Cosgrove declaring Mark was a better guitar player than himself. Mark shared that Bromberg and Clarence White were major influences and Cosgrove paid tribute to the later with "Alabama Jubilee". Mark's solo was fast and flavorful layering leads and rhythms together.

Next, David alone and armed with an acoustic guitar memorized the audience with his colorful combinations of chords. The band returned and they continued their journey through jams and varied musical terrains.

Bromberg mentioned his most recent record and explained that he asked people to write and produce songs that he would play on. Los Lobos gave him "The Long Goodbye". It was a Mexican waltz addressing the serious topic of soldiers going overseas. "Diggin' in the Deep Blue Sea" penned by Keb' Mo' was a provocative bluesy piece that basically said the world (us) was a junkie on gasoline and wars were for getting more. The next song had an Irish flavor and featured David on the fiddle leading the band through an energized ethnic jam.

David Bromberg and His Big Band Offer a Course on Musical Diversity at WPU
David Bromberg excelled on electric and acoustic guitar and fiddle.

They closed with "Will Not Be Your Fool" a blues-rock blend with the band punctuating Bromberg's anger and humor. They played two encores the first a sassy song about travel and southern hell and the second a saucy "Such A Night". Towards the end of the tune David stood at the edge of the stage and encouraged the crowd to clap along before casually walking off. One by one the band departed with John Firman finishing up with his sizzling sax solo and strolling off, too.

The David Bromberg Big Band had a big diverse sound. They played a compressive set of songs and styles that was performed with passion and they added to the ever grow list of fine events showcased at the Shea. The Shea Center for Performing Arts is located on the campus of William Paterson University in Wayne, New Jersey. It is an intimate theater with a state of the art sound system and computerized lighting. The venue hosts a wide range of cultural and musical events. Please check their website for a complete of events.

The David Bromberg Big Band:
David Bromberg - guitar/fiddle/lead vox
Butch Amiot - bass/vox
Mark Cosgrove - guitar/mandolin/vox
Peter Ecklund - trumpet
John Firmin - sax
Nat Grower - fiddle
Josh Kanusky - drums
Nancy Josephson - backing vox

David Bromberg and His Big Band Offer a Course on Musical Diversity at WPU
The horn section added class and brass to the proceedings.

Related Links: For more information on DAVID BROMBERG and the other organizations mentioned please visit the following links - David Bromberg | Shea Center

(Originally Published on March 24, 2013)

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