USE ME - The Billings Gazette

David Bromberg: “Use Me”

Appleseed Recordings

In 2007, David Bromberg broke a 17-year recording drought with a solo, acoustic blues album that landed a Grammy nomination.

This time out, the great session man calls in 40 years worth of favors, surrounding himself with a duet dream team of long-time pals Levon Helm, Linda Ronstadt, John Hiatt, Tim O’Brian, Dr. John, Los Lobos, Widespread Panic, Vince Gill, Los Lobos and Keb Mo.

As yes, as old as these cats are (Bromberg is 65), they can all still swing.

Helm keeps time in the big-bottomed opener, “Tongue.” With its tight horn section and Hammond B3, the song takes Bromberg back to Memphis. Hiatt’s “Ride on Out a Ways” is a slow blues grinder and Ronstadt’s still-fine voice can be heard peeking out angelically in “It’s Just a Matter of Time.”

Widespread Panic leads Bromberg in a three-guitar jam with the “Old Neighborhood” and Dr. John puts some funk in “You Don’t Want to Get Me Mad.” With Los Lobos, “The Long Goodbye” becomes a melancholy waltz.

Bromberg’s voice isn’t what it used to be, although his croak isn’t too out of place with this crew. The playing is impeccable and the spirit of those great old rootsy 1970s sessions shines through.

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