For a man who quit an established recording career in order to study the fine art of making violins, David Bromberg
sure knows how to work a room. A veteran sideman to Dylan, Ringo Starr and Jerry Jeff Walker, as well as a solo performer and bandleader of more than 40 years standing, the bearded and bespectacled Bromberg may have kept a low profile through the so-called MTV era. But he didn't sleep through the more recent recording industry implosion and its attendant rise of the Pod People. Rather, he took his boundary busting energy back to the live stage, with the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, New Jersey playing a big role in this master entertainer's game plan.
The multi-instrumentalist and musicologist has made the Count Basie Theatre a crucial pit stop in his annual tour schedule for each of the last four years ... While Bromberg may take the spotlight for an unaccompanied number or two, it's his role as bandleader and raconteur that prompted the New York Times to brand him "electrifying." A performance by the 12-piece David Bromberg Big Band fireballs forward like a bull in a used record shop, tracing its own musical logic - Bob Wills to Bob Dylan to Bo Diddley to Dave Dudley - with station stops anywhere from Sam Cooke to "a bluegrass tribute to Ethel Merman." Not to mention some fondly remembered originals from his vintage albums and a lot of things that you thought had been written by the Grateful Dead, Patsy Cline, Cab Calloway or even the Clash.
Titles include: Sloppy Drunk, I'll Take You Back, Dark Hollow, Make Me A Pallet On Your Floor, Who's Lovin' You Tonight, This Love Affair, Tongue, It Takes A Lot To Laugh It Takes A Train To Cry, If You Don't Want Me, Nobody's, Sharon and Driving Wheel