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David Bromberg

A strikingly gifted multi-instrumentalist with an intuitive understanding of American roots music styles and a sly sense of humor, David Bromberg has earned a following for his many solo recordings and has served as a sideman and collaborator with some of the most respected artists in his field. Bromberg was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on September 19, 1945, and spent most of his childhood in Tarrytown, New York. As a teenager, Bromberg got hooked on rock & roll and began exploring the blues, folk, and country artists who informed early rock, such as Pete Seeger, Reverend Gary Davis, Muddy Waters, Flatt & Scruggs, and Bill Monroe. When he was 13, Bromberg began learning the guitar, and after graduating from high school, he attended Columbia University, where he studied musicology and began playing Greenwich Village folk clubs.

While his early gigs didn't pay much, he struck up friendships with a number of noted musicians and began studying with his hero, Reverend Davis. Bromberg's guitar skills didn't go unnoticed, and he began accompanying a number of Village folk acts both on-stage and in the studio, including Tom Paxton, Tom Rush, Jerry Jeff Walker, and Richie Havens. Bromberg was playing guitar with singer Rosalie Sorrels when she was booked to play the 1970 Isle of Wight Festival in Great Britain; Bromberg played an impromptu solo set after Sorrels was done, and he went over well enough that he was offered a deal with Columbia Records as a solo artist. Bromberg's self-titled debut was released in 1971, and featured the song "The Holdup," a radio favorite that Bromberg co-wrote with George Harrison. Between 1971 and 1976, Bromberg recorded six albums for Columbia and toured extensively as well as maintaining a hectic schedule of session work, lending his talents on guitar, Dobro, mandolin, and fiddle to albums by Bob Dylan, Carly Simon, the Eagles, Ringo Starr, Willie Nelson, Gordon Lightfoot, Bonnie Raitt, Doug Sahm, and many more. (Bromberg also produced an album for Dylan that has yet to be released in full.)

In 1977, Bromberg signed a new record deal with Fantasy Records, and issued his first album for the label, Reckless Abandon; three more albums of new material followed, but in 1980 Bromberg decided he was tired of the rigors of touring and took a sabbatical from the road, occasionally playing sessions for friends and staging occasional live shows but devoting most of his time to studying at the Kenneth Warren School of Violin Making in Chicago. It wasn't until 1990 that Bromberg released a new album, Sideman Serenade, and it was 2007 when his next studio set appeared, Try Me One More Time, which earned a Grammy nomination as Best Traditional Folk Album. In the meantime, Bromberg had established a successful business building and repairing violins as well as dealing in quality instruments, and in 2002 he opened a shop in Wilmington, Delaware, simply called David Bromberg Fine Violins. In 2011, Bromberg returned with a new and ambitious solo album, Use Me, in which he performed new songs written at his request by some of his favorite tunesmiths, including John Hiatt, Guy Clark, Dr. John, Keb' Mo', and David Hidalgo of Los Lobos. Riding the critical success of that release, he returned two years later with Only Slightly Mad, a diverse set of new originals and a handful of well-curated covers produced by Bob Dylan guitarist Larry Campbell. His next album, 2016's The Blues, the Whole Blues, and Nothing But the Blues, offered tasteful renderings of tracks by Sonny Boy Williamson, Ray Charles, and many others. ~ Mark Deming
full bio

Selected Discography


Track List: Only Slightly Mad

1. Nobody's Fault But Mine

2. Keep On Drinkin'

3. Drivin' Wheel

4. I'll Take You Back

5. The Strongest Man On Earth/Maydelle's Reel/Jenny's Chickens

6. Last Date

7. Nobody Knows The Way I Feel This Mornin'

8. The Fields Have Turned Brown

9. Cattle In The Cane/Forked Deer/Monroe's Hornpipe

10. I'll Rise Again

11. World Of Fools

12. You've Got To Mean It Too


Track List: Use Me

1. Tongue

2. Ride On Out A Ways

3. Bring It With You When You Come

4. Blue Is Fallin'

5. You Don't Wanna Make Me Mad

6. Diggin' In The Deep Blue Sea

7. The Long Goodbye

8. Old Neighborhood

9. It's Just A Matter Of Time

10. Lookout Mountain Girl

11. Use Me


Track List: Try Me One More Time

1. Try Me One More Time

2. Kind Hearted Woman

3. Big Road

4. It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry

5. Buck Dancer's Choice

6. I Belong To The Band

7. Moonshiner

8. Shake Sugaree

9. Hey Bub

10. Love Changing Blues

11. When First Unto This Country

12. Levee Camp Moan

13. Trying To Get Home

14. East Virginia

15. Windin' Boy

16. Lonesome Roving Wolves


Track List: My Own House / You Should See The Rest Of The Band

1. My Own House Medley

2. Don't Let Your Deal Go Down (Medley)

3. Early This Morning (Live)

4. Sheebeg And Sheemore

5. Cocaine Blues

6. To Know Her Is To Love Her

7. Georgia On My Mind

8. Chump Man Blues (Live)

9. Kitchen Girl

10. Spanish Johnny

11. Black And Tan

12. Lower Left Hand Corner Of The Night

13. Key To The Highway (live)

14. Helpless Blues

15. Sharon (live)

16. As The Years Go Passing By

17. Solid Gone (live)

18. Yankee's Revenge (Medley) (Live)


Track List: The Player: A Retrospective

1. Sharon

2. The Holdup (Live)

3. Mr. Bojangles (Live)

4. Suffer To Sing The Blues

5. Mr. Blue

6. The Joke's On Me

7. Sammy's Song

8. Yankee's Revenge (Medley)

9. Wallflower (Live)

10. Statesboro Blues / Church Bell Blues (Live)

11. Nobody's

12. The Main Street Main

13. I Like To Sleep Late In The Morning

14. Dehlia (Live)

15. The Holdup


Track List: Sideman Serenade

1. Mobile Lil The Dancing Witch

2. Testify

3. Sideman's Samba

4. Midnight Hour Blues

5. Top Of The Slide

6. Save The Last Dance For Me

7. Watch Baby Fall

8. Long Tall Mama

9. Come All You Fair And Tender Maidens


Track List: The Best Of David Bromberg

1. The Holdup

2. Send Me To The 'lectric Chair

3. The Joke's On Me

4. Mr. Bojangles

5. The New Lee Highway Blues

6. Suffer To Sing The Blues

7. Kansas City

8. Demon In Disguise

9. (What A) Wonderful World

10. Sharon


Track List: How Late'll Ya Play'til Volume 1 Live

1. Sloppy Drunk

2. Bullfrog Blues

3. Sweet Home Chicago

4. Come On In My Kitchen

5. Will Not Be Your Fool

6. Such A Night

7. Loaded And Laid

8. Make Me A Pallet


Track List: Wanted Dead Or Alive

1. The Holdup

2. Someone Else's Blues

3. Danger Man

4. The Main Street Moan

5. Send Me To The 'lectric Chair

6. Statesboro Blues& Church Bell Blues

7. Wallflower

8. Kansas City

9. The New Lee Highway Blues


Track List: Demon In Disguise

1. Hardworkin' John (Live)

2. Sharon

3. Medley Of Irish Fiddle Tunes

4. Diamond Lil

5. Jugband Song (Live)

6. Demon In Disguise

7. Tennessee Waltz

8. Mr. Bojangle

9. Sugar In The Gourd (Live)


Track List: David Bromberg

1. Last Song For Shelby Jean

2. Suffer To Sing The Blues

3. Boggy Road To Milledgeville (Arkansas Traveler)

4. Dehlia

5. Pine Tree Woman

6. Lonesome Dave's Lovesick Blues #3

7. Mississippi Blues

8. Holdup

9. Sammy's Song


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Saw david AND jorma at .y father's place on long Island outstanding
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"Jerry wasn't there on no research project....t h e way I got that story was that he propositione d the right woman at the wrong time and her husband the bartender didn't approve"
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For some reason, the only Dave Bromberg song that Pandpora will play fort me is Spanish Johnny. Great song, but the discography lists 10 albums--can I hear something else by him?
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like to sleep late in the morning...
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If you haven't listened to his live version of Mr. Bojangles... p l e a s e treat yourself. I don't usually recommend you listen to something I like. ...but this performance is something special.
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fontanarama2 0 1 3
I've been a huge fan of David's since the early seventies...
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don't let the glasses fool you
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fontanarama2 0 1 3
Would a matchbox hold my clothes? Lay me out flat on the floor, woman...
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...will not be your fool!
Saw DB live at the Lost Horizon in Syracuse,NY (circa 1979 I think) I've been hooked ever since!
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fontanarama2 0 1 3
Get his first album if you can: David Bromberg 1971
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F**king the bom
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fontanarama2 0 1 3
You got to suffer if you wanna sing the blues... blew me away, back in the day.
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Heard a lot of gut-wrenchin g songs but this one got me by the throat. Wonderful artist.
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I can't say this enough, when I click on a particular song to create a station I want to hear that song.
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Possibly the best kept secret among music fans who wish he received the recognition he deserves on a wider scale.
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In his decade plus Sabbatical from the road David also became the greatest student of American violin making. His collection of American instruments put American violin making on the map in Cremona, Mittenwald and Mirecort where American violin making had previously been considered crude country fiddle building. I wouldn't be surprised to see him awarded a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship.
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freddyfender 3
Oh Sharon what do u do to these men
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What a fantastic musician.
Makes Georgia sound so SEXY!!!
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the best folkie ever to put a track down. David can play anything and make it his, if more folks were half as good, the rock world wouldn't need to put up with loosers like the clash.

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In '83 or '84 I saw David perform in Seattle with John Sebastion and Arlo Guthrie. What a show. They all play multiple instruments and each is able to carry their own solo show. All 3 together was a once-in a-life time kind of highlight.
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1 of the best story within a story songs ever David 's rendition gives me goose bumps sometimes when I perform it,it makes me cry. Nitty gritty dirt bands cover is also awesome with uncle Charley's intro on harp with his dog
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You should add Dave Van Ronk to your Similar Artists!
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bobonnit Have you cleaned your ears out lately? Yeah I know different strokes.....
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One of the finest all around musicians around. He's had my ear for many a year! 40+ as a matter of fact. Round'm up David!
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Likely the best live show I've ever seen; Bromberg is a master.
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went to a show in York, PA a few months ago, Mr. Bromberg sounded like I was listening to him back in 73. Best music I have ever been allowed to hear. THANK YOU !!!
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I also loved him at the University of Scranton and Philly folk festival a great showman.
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He annoyed me so I gave him a thumbs down
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Tarrytown Music Hall tomorrow night. Can't wait
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debbieboone debbiboone debbieboone debbieboone
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This freaked me out This isn't fake. Apparently, if you copy and paste this on ten comments in the next ten minutes, you will have the best day of your life tomorrow. You will either get kissed or asked out. If you break this chain you will see a dead girl in your room tonight. In the next 53 minutes someone will say I love you or I'm sorry This freaked me out This isn't fake. This freaked me out This isn't fake. Apparently, if you copy and paste this on ten comments in the next ten minutes
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the hold up is the funniest song ever
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1975, what a run! May in the U. of Scranton Gym, August at Philly Folk Fest and then he closed out the summer in the Gold Dome on Steel Pier in Atlantic City. The next year at the Academy of Music, when his mic went down, he toed the edge of the stage and with his guitar captivated the crowd, could have heard a pin drop. Class performer - return to Philly Folk Festival in 2012, on stage all three nights sitting in and weaving artists together, Saturday Finale with Levon Helm on You Tube!
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Have seen him live too many times to count. I used to watch him and Norman Blake on Philadelphia on MPT/PBS in the early 70's. A superb performer; I got to pick a little with him at the Susquehanna Bluegrass Festival in the late 70's. He's a flash player ! One of the most tasteful players out there.
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david-silver m a n
I first heard David play at Jabberwocky at SU in 1971. For over 40 years I have played his music more than any other artist. It doesn't get any better than this.
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I grew up with him in Tarrytown and we used to play together. He made me sound like a hack, but I'm still pickin' and keepin' in touch...
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-I have seen him 20 times over the years , never lets you down-can't get enough-
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First got to know David in the 70's with his version of Mr. Bojangles, (better than Jerry Jeff's) then for some reason lost track of him. Thanks Pandora for helping me find this great picker, writer, singer and overall great entertainmen t .
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Yes... David has a quirky sense of humor that goes along with his wonderful picking. In 1981 two women friends and I saw David in Seattle. Their new found feminism failed to appreciate the satirical lyrics he added to a traditional blues song and thought him to be a huge sexist. Still chuckle when I remember that. By the way, still married to one of those women.
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i play with david in a blues jam on Wednesday at the queen in Wilmington, just a great musician wow
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I loved the album, Bandit in a Bathing Suit.
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David's Album How Late'll Ya Play Til features the BEST blues song I've EVER heard - I Will Not Be Your Fool. It still blows me away after all these years. I'm pretty sure I blew up a couple pairs of speakers playing that song at max volume back in the day!!!
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Always loved David's music - and that goes quite a way back!
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thanks dad for tuning me into the incredible sounds. i have had the oportunity to see him twice now and will always go when he is around. thanks for helping write the soundtrack to my life david.
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I saw David at Bowdoin College, Maine in 1977 or 78. Lifelong favorite string musician, singer, artist & storyteller. Thanks for the great memories!
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I saw you young..I am laughing..a good thing for me..highly l l i n g in for cornfields funny..
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Don't mix up folk and jazz? That is what American music is all about! You could call that the blues or you could call it rock and roll.
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Bromberg Rules !
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First heard him while in college in the early 70"s. Still sounds great!
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Great live performer,an d as part of his electric concerts, some of the best blues I've ever heard.
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