This former Bob Dylan sideman would like you to know he has other talented pals. Here he asks a bunch of them (Levon Helm, Dr. John, John Hiatt, Los Lobos) to pen songs or pick covers, then join him in the studio. As on David Bromberg's 2007 comeback, Try Me One More Time, his baritone sing-speak, class-clown humor and multi-instrumentalism (fiddle, guitar, dobro, mandolin) recall the best for his ripe-for-reissue Seventies LPs.
The title of David Bromberg’s new disc, Use Me serves two purposes. On the one hand, Bromberg does a hard drivin’ freaky six-and-a-half-minute version of Bill Withers’ classic soul track of that name. Bromberg annunciates the lyrics in his trademark droll, staccato and salty voice. He breaks down the wall between singer and audience through his intimate asides.
Guitarist and fiddler David Bromberg is a legend in roots music circles, a genuine guitar virtuoso and session ace whose quirky mystique has been burnished by periodic withdrawals from the public eye (currently, his full-time job is as a dealer and repairman of vintage violins). He released no music between 1990 and 2007, at which point he emerged briefly from his recording hiatus with the acoustic folk-blues effort Try Me One More Time. Four years later he has come out with a much different project.