David Bromberg Try me One More Time

There was a time when David Bromberg was the first call guitarist for a who’s who of the music industry. Riding atop a huge career of his own through the mid-’60s and ’70s, this well-established Columbia recording artist and famous Greenwich Village folkie turned bluesman took a sharp left turn and bailed from the business in 1990, citing burnout, until now, with this, his first release in 17 years. History and accomplishments aside, Try Me is a breathtaking work of art from a master guitarist and gifted singer-songwriter whose unfaltering grasp on the traditions of folk, blues, rock and jug band music reveal he’s lost nothing in his ability to breathe new life into all of them. Coaxed from retirement — he’d been crafting violins — by Chris Hillman and Herb Pedersen, Bromberg eases into it with covers of Dylan, Blind Willie McTell, Elizabeth Cotten and his original guitar mentor, Reverend Gary Davis, favouring the familiar over breaking any new ground. Yet Bromberg’s finger picking and resulting tone are still things to die for, augmented by his folk-ish-sounding, earthy baritone that’s as welcoming as a well overdue summer’s breeze. Highlights include McTell’s "Love Changing Blues,” for its slide guitar complement, and instrumentals "Hey Bub” and "Buck Dancer’s Choice.” The violinmakers’ loss is our substantial gain. (Appleseed)