Acoustic Guitar Magazine - USE ME

Where David Bromberg’s previous studio album, 2007’s Try Me One More Time, was a solo-acoustic-blues aficionado’s dream, his latest features a wide cross-section of the genres Bromberg loves and handles so well: blues, bluegrass, R&B, folk, and country. He plays both acoustic and electric guitar (and some dobro and slide) and is joined by such luminaries as Levon Helm, Keb’ Mo’, John Hiatt, Vince Gill, Tim O’Brien, Los Lobos, Widespread Panic, Linda Ronstadt, Dr. John, and more. Each contributed a number and produced it, yielding both unusual variety and remarkable quality in the songs and musicianship. AGLogoThere are heavenly-sweet vocal harmonies, biting and/or rapid-fire guitar runs, funky grooves to make you itch, and, as always, Bromberg’s seriocomic bluesman persona, which has earned him a devoted following for 40-plus years. It’s an album full of highlights (Gill’s solos on “Lookout Mountain Girl”; Bromberg trading solos with Widespread Panic guitarist Jimmy Herring on “Old Neighborhood”; Bromberg’s ad-libs on the Bill Withers chestnut “Use Me”), but for this listener the emotional peak comes on Hiatt’s understated “Ride on Out a Ways,” in which the movement and feel of Hiatt’s always accomplished songwriting dovetails perfectly with Bromberg’s unabashedly emotional vocals and purposeful playing. Each performance evinces a palpable connection to the emotions and experiences that inspired these songs, and each track is at once impeccably professional and refreshingly down-to-earth—and a testament to Bromberg’s enduring authenticity as an artist. (Red House)

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