Man, am I glad David Bromberg returned to playing music. His "comeback" continued with a sweet show at the Boulder Theater on Saturday night; which in this case was the David Bromberg Quartet and the Angel Band.
Paul Thorn was the opener, and offered a fine set of sardonic songs, connecting well with the audience throughout. Up immediately was Angel Band -- generally, the Bromberg Quartet plus Bromberg's wife Nancy Josephson, Jen Schonwald and Kathleen Weber singing some vocal leads and harmonies pretty in feel but with a jovial, boisterous personality. Plenty of fun all the way around, especially with Dave playing sideman like he's done it a million times before..
David has been busy playing plenty of gigs. It showed on Saturday night, because he played some genuinely amazing, distinctive leads and was
razor-sharp all night. His Quartet is a bit different now: Jeff Wiser (fiddle) is still with him, but he has a new mando/guitarist Bobby Tangrea, who was rock solid. The setlist was a bit different too from my past Bromberg experiences, with the acoustic tunes including Dylan's "It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A
Train To Cry" and his new "Try Me One More Time", both from his new album Try Me One More Time. A typically upbeat "Don't Let Your Deal Go Down" was the opener.
David also invited Pete Wernick (Dr. Banjo) on stage...and Pete walked through the audience, then entered from stage left. The two tunes Pete played on was a "Dark Hollow" marred by stage feedback, which at one point had cut of David from singing a verse, but he handled it like a pro. The other was a stellar, gorgeous "Summer Wages" where every note, vocal and space between notes was right there!
However, what may have been the highlight was the set-closing...TESTIFY!!!! That he did...David's vocal performance was heartfelt and inspiring. From those high screeches to full throttle barotone, David was transformed to The Preacher: Bellowing his sermon at full gusto bringing the set to an enthrealling climax. The encore was a rich & soulful "Driving Wheel", with superb harmonies from David and the Angel Band ladies. With his humor fully intact, upon bolting the stage, David quipped, "We can't go on anymore. We need more oxygen. Good night!"
A few other notes:
*During one song in the Angel Band set, Dave broke a string. As he grabbed another acoustic guitar (he had two and a dobro onstage), he tuned it while Bobby was finishing his mando solo, then Dave started his guitar solo perfectly on cue, like nothing happened. Now, I've seen many a broken string episode, but David handled this so cool and collected I couldn't help but laugh.
*Dave played dobro on one tune in Angel Band's set.
*Dave's set & encore: 90 minutes. Angel Band was 45 minutes, so we got 2:15 of Bromberg.
This picky bastard sez...See David Bromberg! Now!
Thanks for the review John. Those are some nice song choices in the set. Hope I get a chance to catch Mr. Bromberg one of these days.
^^^Nice review, John.
Been years since I've seen Bromberg, the mid-70s I think. Good to hear he's still got it.
He kicked ass at the Targhee Fest two years ago. I'd go see him again in a minute.
Slickrock...I have a DSBD of that Targhee set. If you're interested in a copy, drop me a line (you too, Dave & Gary).
Slick...what is Grand Targhee like? I'm not 100% sure I can make Telluride this year due to lack of vaca time from my new job. If that is the case, I would do Grand Targhee, as it's a nice little lineup (YMSB, DGQ, DGBX, Sam Bush, etc.). What is the scene like? Plenty of picking parties? Puff friendly?
Saw my first Bromberg show early this year, He was great! TESTIFY!
That is a nice looking lineup for Grand Targhee, although, by the time I do all the other festivals this summer, I'll definitely be out of vac time myself...
I love David Bromberg...Wish he would bring the big band back out to Cali....