Niagara Gazette — After a 22-year sabbatical from performing, the mayor of the town in Delaware where folk artist David Bromberg resides told Bromberg that there used to be lots of live music performed on the street where his violin shop is located and he wished it would return.
Bromberg, who is appearing at Seneca Niagara’s Bear’s Den on Friday, did his part by starting a series of jam sessions that attracted many world class musicians. The result was that it revitalized the area and Bromberg’s interest in performing again.
In the 1970s Bromberg had a successful solo career and appeared on albums with a virtual who’s who in folk music, playing guitar, dobro and mandolin on albums by Bob Dylan, Carly Simon, Willie Nelson, and Gordon Lightfoot.
“They call it Americana now, but back then it didn’t have a label,” Bromberg noted during a recent phone interview from his violin shop in Delaware.
“Folk music was music that was played with no chance of money changing hands. Americana is music made to sell patterned after folk music. Some people say I invented Americana.”
It was 2002 when Bromberg returned to performing, and in 2007 he released the Grammy nominated album “Try Me One More Time.” A few years later, fate would take Bromberg in a new direction for his 2011 album entitled “Use Me.”
“Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt were performing in town and they asked me to come down with my guitar. I thought they wanted me to perform with them but they wanted me to perform my songs. It was flattering.”
After the performances Hiatt asked Bromberg to visit his studio in Nashville and Bromberg thought it would be a good idea to ask Hiatt to give him a song to record. Bromberg asked other artists to do the same and they obliged. For “Use Me” Bromberg traveled all over the country for the recording sessions and collaborations with Hiatt, Linda Ronstadt, Los Lobos, Tim O’Brien, Vince Gill, Widespread Panic, Dr. John, Keb’ Mo’ and the late Levon Helm.