David Bromberg: The Guitar Tells The Story

Just listen to the way David Bromberg plays a guitar. For instance take the song, ‘Come on in my Kitchen’ from the album, How Late’ll Ya Play ‘Til? The words come out of the guitar on that song in way that I’ve never heard before. Not with effects, but with just pure dedicated skill. Though Bromberg sings, his real voice is his guitar, and many of his songs seem like duets. His live stuff is pure musical magic.

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Bromberg has a style that is unique, and if a listener is familiar with him, he/she will instantly recognize his music. Having said that, what is very different with Bromberg is that his music is varied in so many different genres. His blues and bluegrass tunes are my favorites, but don’t be surprised with jazz, rock, and country.

Most of his songs tell stories, and many of them use humor. Even songs that should be depressing blues songs are often filled with humor that will keep the subject matter light, like the song, ‘Will Not Be Your Fool’ from, How Late’ll Ya Play ‘Til? The song starts off, as many blues songs do, complaining about how his lady did him wrong. Slowly the complaining transforms into a full raging rant that will bring a smile to unsuspecting listeners, catching them off guard.

There is another factor to his playing that makes him one of my favorites and places him into an exclusive group of musicians. It always sounds like he is having fun at what he is doing. Most of Bromberg’s songs are filled with emotion that comes from him and his guitars. He has some instrumentals that always make me think that he would be playing, regardless if there was anyone listening, because he is just having a blast.

If the reader wants to check out some Bromberg stuff, here are some suggestions. The greatest hit’s collection really doesn’t show off his talents and I would suggest staying away from that one. Here is a quick list of some of my favorites:

How Late’ll Ya Play ‘Til? (Live & Studio) (1976)

Try Me One More Time (2007)

Midnight on the Water (1975)

Wanted Dead or Alive (1974)

David Bromberg (1971)

Any of his live recordings are almost always magic and will not disappoint. Enjoy the music.

  • bct

    i was listening to ‘how late’ just yesterday and i agree bromberg is an incredible player.

    • Mickey

      I agree, he is very under-rated, thank you for the comment!

  • Rory

    How Late’ll Ya Play ‘Til? Is the first Bromberg album I ever listened to, and it’s still my favorite. Particularly the live side and the track, Will Not Be You Fool. It is a master piece. Unlike many songs the first time you hear it is the most special and gratifying. It’s like the first time I watched the 6TH Sense, I wasn’t expecting what happened at the end, that song gave me the same sort of surprise. Bromberg takes a somber blues song about some woman doing her man wrong and turns it into something else, wow! What an artist.

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