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Try Me One More Time

David Bromberg

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Album Review

Had David Bromberg been making new recordings all along, then Try Me One More Time would be a welcome addition to his catalog. An all-acoustic, solo set of blues and folk tunes — one original, several traditional and the rest by established writers such as Bob Dylan, Rev. Gary Davis and Robert Johnson — the album feels intimate, honest and earthy, and of course the guitar playing is never less than masterful. But Bromberg hadn't released a new album in a long 17 years when Try Me One More Time hit, and because of that it's an underwhelming return. There is no denying that Bromberg, who basically gave up the road and the studio at the dawn of the '90s in order to become a violin maker, possesses an innate love for the roots Americana that populates his comeback album. And on its own merits, it's a satisfying enough listen — he sounds perfectly comfortable within the familiar domain of this material. But therein lies the disappointment: he's too comfortable. Bromberg's interpretations show little imagination or ingenuity, and after such a lengthy sabbatical, fans would be right to expect something that displays growth and movement in an artist. Try Me One More Time doesn't. Bromberg's Delta-style guitar work is, as always, note-perfect (the two instrumentals are a treat and his slide playing is sweet), but fans already know he can do that with his eyes closed. And while Bromberg, never much of a singer — the voice is a bit more gravelly these days but otherwise unchanged — is well-suited for the minimalist renditions of tracks like Dylan's "It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry," Elizabeth Cotten's "Shake Sugaree" and Davis' "Trying to Get Home," there are no real surprises in how he handles those chestnuts. It's not that anyone expected David Bromberg to come back and make a hip-hop record or something equally out of character, but while he undoubtedly enjoyed cutting these songs that have always been dear to his heart, there are few clues here as to what he's been up to for the nearly two decades he spent out of earshot.

Biography

Born: 19 September 1945 in Philadelphia, PA

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

A strikingly gifted multi-instrumentalist with an intuitive understanding of American roots music styles and a sly sense of humor, David Bromberg has earned a following for his many solo recordings and has served as a sideman and collaborator with some of the most respected artists in his field. David Bromberg was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on September 19, 1945, and spent most of his childhood in Tarrytown, New York. As a teenager, Bromberg got hooked on rock & roll and began exploring...
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Try Me One More Time, David Bromberg
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