The Michigan Daily-Friday, September 18, 1987- Page 11
with eclectic touch
By Mark Swartz
David Bromberg returns to the
Ark tomorrow night, guitar in one
hand and bag of musical tricks in the
other. A master of countless styles
including blues, folk, jazz, cajun,
and rockabilly, Bromberg blends
them all into an impressive, diverse
It's his background as a session
musician that accounts for Brom-
-berg's awesome stylistic range.
During the '60s, he played on al-
bums by just about everybody from
Chubby Checker to Bob Dylan.
Friends and fellow studio players
along the way were also Bromberg's
"People are willing to show you
stuff if they think you have control
of something else," Bromberg ex-
plains. For instance, he could dem-
onstrate ragtime music to a blue-
grass picker in return for some
pointers in that area.
Dave Bromberg proved himself t,)
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be a credible performer in his own
right when he released his debut al-
bum in 1970. "I used to be embar-
rassed by my voice," he admits. His
singing, which in the early days was
in fact a little thin, has since grown
into a highly expressive tool. When
he moans, "You Gotta Suffer if You
Want to Sing the Blues," it's clear
that he knows what he's doing.
Most of the body of Bromberg's
work has been "live" records. On
stage is where he best shows off his
abilities. "I change the lyrics as I go
along. It comes naturally," says the
veteran songster. "I Will Not be
your Fool," from How Late'll You
Play 'Till, with its hyperextended
fast-talking monologe/ramble finale,
highlights this aspect of David
The eclectic musical wizard says
he is particularly excited about play-
ing the Ark because of what he calls
the "educated audience." "For exam-
ple, I could play an Irish Slow Air (a
particular form of accomapanied bal-
lad) and they will be familiar with
the genre," he boasts.
No, you don't have to have a de-
gree in Musicology to appreciate the
experience. Scholars and simpletons
alike will be entertained, amused,
and dazzled by David Bromberg's
solo concert appearance.
David Bromberg will be giving
two performances at the Ark tomor-
row night, at 7:30 and 10 p.m.
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