Bromberg’s Birthday Bash at The Keswick Theatre, Glenside, PA
What a great night of music! Joining The David Bromberg Big Band to celebrate Bromberg’s birthday and opening the show was the absolutely excellent duet of Larry Campbell and Theresa Williams. Campbell and Williams did a great version of “If I Had MY Way” as well as a few of their songs. Tom Rush then came to the stage for his turn at entertaining us. He did a great job as usual, mixing in stories that had the house cracking up. His fantastic version of “Drift Away” was followed by a discussion of a Judy Collins song about a boy growing up. He then changed all the words to make fun of Bromberg as it was his birthday.
Bromberg joined Rush on stage to sing a couple of traditional numbers and was then joined by his band. He quite quickly hit back referring to Rush’s old age. Bromberg’s patter between songs on stage is a good as anyone gets. Many a laugh was had, often at Tom Rush’s expense. All in good fun.
The night was subtitled The Blues, The Whole Blues, and Nothing but the Blues as Bromberg’s new album of that name was about to be released. Well, what do you know, he played a lot more than the blues. Yes, he played lot of the new songs, well some were traditional blues songs and not new at all, but a number of songs from an earlier album Only Slightly Mad were also played. Hell, and for good reason, Only Slightly Mad as well as The Blues, The Whole Blues, and Nothing but the Blues were produced by Larry Campbell and Campbell was there to join him on stage. They played a couple of songs from the earlier album including what David referred to as an english drinking song he wrote, “The Strongest Man Alive”. Maybe the crowning point of the night for me was a song from the new blues album done as a duet with Larry Campbell. Bromberg introduced it as a song he likes to play solo but he loves the hear Campbell play it so “Delia” is a duet on the album and that night a duet on stage. And for me it was a hit. Well done!
If you ever get a chance to see and hear David Bromberg live, after all he is touring to support the new album, I suggest you take it. He usually surprises and you can always count on a great night of music.
Mark J. Smith