With his 1971 self-titled Columbia Records release, David Bromberg emerged as the wunderkind of American roots music. The disc’s compelling blend of traditional and original material, virtuosic musicianship and iconic cover art trumpeted the arrival of a new artist possessed of audacious and uncompromising vision. Over the course of four albums for Columbia and five for Fantasy Records, and through associations with artists like Bob Dylan, Jerry Jeff Walker, John Hartford, George Harrison, the Grateful Dead, Emmylou Harris and Bonnie Raitt, Bromberg’s reputation, repertoire and following grew exponentially. However, the incessant demands of touring finally brought the band’s recordings and shows to an end in the early 1980’s.
The twenty-two year drought ended in 2006 with the release of the Grammy-nominated solo effort Try Me One More Time. Gradually tour dates were added and bandmembers assembled as David, in 2011, followed up Try Me with Use Me, a typically unorthodox Brombergian effort, partnering him with some of the most celebrated names in music – Linda Ronstadt, Vince Gill, Los Lobos, Dr John, Keb’ Mo, John Hiatt, Levon Helm and others – whom David asked to either write or choose songs and then produce him doing them.
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