christine lavin

D a v i d... B r o m b e r g

sometimes mother knows best

David Bromberg
Use Me




“Bromberg . . . makes every track shine, like the A-list session man he’s always been.” – Will Hermes, Rolling Stone

“Great session players easily cross genres, and guitarist Bromberg is one of the great ones. For proof, look at his rootsy new concept album Use Me, for which Bromberg also sings solid lead vocals backed by the big-name collaborators he approached to write and/or produce songs. . . .And all of it’s a terrific listen.” – Bill Beutler, Boston Globe

“. . . Use Me – [Bromberg’s] second release since ending a long studio silence in 2007 – fnds him in a feisty mood, assured and as focused as ever. . . . His impassioned playing and surly vocals summon the spirits of Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters, and various big-name guests . . . eagerly tag along as well. He may be best known as a multitalented sideman, but Use Me proves that Bromberg needn’t cede the spotlight.” – Lee Zimmerman, M: Music & Musicians

All eleven tracks are a delightful romp through familiar terrain for David, terrain that he navigates with the expertise and energy of a Formula 500 driver. . . . This second Appleseed release perfectly showcases David's off-kilter, sandpaper-silk voice, his amazing skill on various stringed instruments, from violin to banjo, and his overall bluesy, jug band flavor.” – Sonya Alexander, San Francisco

“Bromberg is simply one of the finest musicians you’ll ever hear. . . the guests here are big fun . . . but it’s Bromberg’s brilliant playing, and the inherent sense of humor embedded in most of the tunes, that make it beyond special. An artist who is the embodiment of the phrase “world-class musician,” Bromberg does not disappoint.” – David Malachowski, Daily Freeman, Kingston, NY 

“. . . A fantastic album with a title that perfectly chosen. An impressive list of prominent guest musicians play with deep respect from the renowned pioneer roots on this record. There is much to enjoy. . . " – Johan Schoenmakers, AltCountryForum, The Netherlands

“. . . a wondrous potpourri of music. (Rating: 9 out of 10)” – Philip Smith, Blues Wax

“A sublime platter that finds Bromberg collaborating with a host of high-profile friends. . . . Every song is a gem, with Bromberg bringing down the curtain with a stirring rendition of the title track made famous by Bill Withers. Fantastic from beginning to end. (4½ stars)” – Jeffrey Sisk, Pittsburgh, PA, Daily News

“. . . a roots smorgasbord that showcases Bromberg's impressive range . . . he [has] an engagingly unaffected manner and know how to get to the heart of a song. (3 of 4 stars)” – Nick Cristiano, Philadelphia Inquirer

“Here is David Bromberg saying to some of his favorite singer/songwriters ‘use me, either write a song or pick one out we can do together.’ His taste in these musicians, as you might guess is wide-ranging . . . As you would expect there is consistently outstanding playing throughout the songs. . . . This is one of the most fitting album titles I have yet come across; Use Me, and not only is he used, but he is well used and this is about as good as it gets, one fantastic disc with the constant of excellence in all ways running thorough it.” – Bob Gottlieb, Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange 

“Bromberg’s latest effort brings a creative twist to recording and collaborating . . . Although Bromberg has released his own original material, to place him next to the artists on Use Me was a brilliant way to explore a variety of genres, feature many top-shelf musicians and put him back into what may be his most comfortable zone – playing alongside another great talent. . . . Each song brings a distinctly different feel to life . . . engaging. . .” – Jessica Novak, Syracuse, NY, New Times

“…[a] surprisingly cohesive 11-track album with plenty of gems, whether it's the funky, rebellious song from Dr. John, "You Don't Wanna Make Me Mad," or the Bromberg-penned "Tongue," one of two he cut with Helm at the Band legend's home studio.” – Ryan Cormier, The News Journal, Wilmington, DE

“[Bromberg] surround[s] himself with a duet dream team of  . . . Levon Helm, Linda Ronstadt, John Hiatt, Tim O’Brien, Dr. John, Widespread Panic, Vince Gill, Los Lobos and Keb Mo. . . . they can all still swing. The playing is impeccable and the spirit of those great old rootsy 1970s sessions shines through.” – Chris Jorgenson, Billings, MT, Gazette

“Bromberg has played with Dylan and just about anyone else worth their songwriting salt. With wicked guitar chops – acoustic or electric – and no slouch as a singer/songwriter, this new effort feastures guest vocals and musical accompaniment from some of his buddies.” – Dusty Wright,

Use Me is a rich panorama of musical styles ranging from the poignant (‘Ride On Out A Ways”) to spooky social commentary (“Digging in the Deep Blue Sea”) to more of Bromberg's trademark humor (“Tongue” & “Don’t You Make Me Mad”). Use Me may be Bromberg's finest album ever, period.” – Wesley Britton,

“. . . In the words of one of Bromberg’s earlier recorded triumphs, Use Me is an effort that finds Bromberg still blessed with an abundance of Get Up And Go.” – Michael McDowell, Blitz

“. . . a very imaginative concept . . . The CD is “full-frontal” Bromberg, with his singing and playing showcased prominently on every track. . . .  pleasantly reminiscent of that Demon In Disguise breakout record – yes, with embraceable lyrics and tight, driving music. But it’s the stunning, “in your face” vocals that give soaring life to an eleven-song set of not-Bromberg-written tunes (except one). Many are blues, blues-infused, or American roots tunes; all with palpable authenticity channeled via Bromberg’s excellent playing and inimitable voice.” – Dan Harrell,

“A variety of big name guests (Dr. John, Levon Helm, John Hiatt, Los Lobos, Widespread Panic etc.) turn up throughout the album, but aside from some nods in the liner notes and a few stylistic concessions, they remain all but anonymous while allowing Bromberg to steal the spotlight.
 That's appropriate. As its title suggests, Use Me offers a lesson in how to stay true to one's muse.” – Lee Zimmerman, Blurt

“. . . You’ll want to hear [it] more than once or twice. In other words, its pleasures don’t evaporate. I also give high credit to Bromberg for resisting the lure of singer-songwriterdom, choosing instead to dare the dangers of song interpretation. . . . Rare today is the performer who loves a song better than he loves himself.” – Jerome Clark, Rambles.NET 


“Not only did Bromberg have noted musicians write songs for and perform with him, he also recorded the songs at their own studios. This gives the individual tracks even more of a special identity. For example, Los Lobos adds a Spanish touch on the sad ‘The Long Goodbye.’ The musicians take a subtle approach and let the rhythms sway slowly. This adds a melancholy note to the proceedings, but a sweet one of yearning. Meanwhile, Vince Gill and Gary Clark offer the country style ‘Lookout Mountain Girl,’ complete with Gill and Bromberg’s fancy string-picking solos. The two American styles are as different as salsa and grits, but they are tasty nonetheless. Bromberg first became popular in the early ‘70s as a sideman and colleague to such notables as Bob Dylan, George Harrison and Jerry Garcia. This new disc shows that he still has good taste in musicians, and is smart enough to let them use him to full advantage.” – Steve Horowitz,