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David Bromberg Quintet w/ opener Leslie Mendelson - 4/6/18Friday, April 06 2018 6:00pm Doors / 8:00pm Start / Ends 9:30pm (Estimated End Time)
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David Bromberg Quintet w/ opener Leslie Mendelson - 4/6/18
at City Winery Boston
- 9:30pm (Estimated End Time)
On October 14, David Bromberg – a godfather of Americana, decorated multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter, gifted song interpreter and lauded bandmate to the stars - will release 'The Blues, The Whole Blues and Nothing But The Blues' (Red House Records). Produced by Levon Helm and Bob Dylan’s longtime collaborator, Larry Campbell, Bromberg’s first album since 2013 is a wonderfully curated selection of deep cuts from the blues genre, in addition to original compositions. Willie Nelson repeat a quote from Texas fiddler Johnny Gimble: "there's only two kinds of music - the Star Spangled Banner and the Blues."
Through Bromberg’s unparalleled playing and gift for interpretation, a crack band and Campbell’s tasteful horn arrangements, the record reaches electrifying heights as well as intimate acoustic moments, breathing fresh life into the songs of Robert Johnson, Bobby Charles, George “Little Hat” Jones, Ray Charles, and Sonny Boy Williamson, among others.
Ray Charles’ “A Fool For You” is one of many album stand-outs, featuring just David on a spellbinding solo acoustic guitar performance and vocals. David learned the song “Why Are People Like That?” from a Muddy Waters record, a song written by one of his favorite writers: Bobby Charles. Bromberg dug deep into recorded music, sometimes finding songs with mysterious origins such as “How Come My Dog Don’t Bark When You Come ‘Round,” or “900 Miles,” an old country song imagined as if Howlin’ Wolf were to play it.
Bromberg is “an American music icon” (Dr. John), and counts Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Emmylou Harris, Jerry Garcia, Bonnie Raitt, Carly Simon, The Eagles, and so many more as collaborators, fans and friends. This is Bromberg’s 18th album, the latest in a solo career that began in 1971 on his self-titled debut. The David Bromberg Quintet will bring their exuberant live show across the east coast this fall, including a trio of “Belated Birthday Bashes” featuring Tom Rush, Larry Campbell, and Teresa Williams.
Leslie Mendelson is touring in support of Love & Murder—the singer/songwriter’s first new album in eight years. A stirring work instilled with emotional depth that Glide Magazine declared “one of the best records of 2017,” the effort is the long-awaited follow up to her Grammy Award-nominated debut, Swan Feathers. It’s an apropos title, reflecting the dichotomy between the dark and light she encountered in those years between. Climbing the ranks in 2009 with comparisons to Carole King and Rickie Lee Jones on the tip of tastemakers’ lips, Leslie would go through a series of professional and personal trials that led to stints living in London and later San Francisco before settling down in Brooklyn. She ultimately recommitted to herself and slowly but surely penned the songs with her longtime co-writer Steve McEwan that would become Love & Murder.
Produced by Mark Howard (Bob Dylan, Lucinda Williams), Love & Murder is a sparse, raw collection of ten folk songs. Opening with “Jericho,” a haunting number that sets the tone for what’s to come, it makes clear that the album lies more within darker spaces that artists like Sharon Van Etten, Lana Del Rey and Dusty Springfield inhabit. Songs like “Murder Me,” “Coney Island,” and “Chasing the Thrill” find Leslie exploring loss in ways that feel personal and metaphorical, where the stories within are multifaceted. She also recorded three covers: the classic-country infused “Cry, Cry Darlin’,” a take on Bob Dylan’s classic “Just Like a Woman,” played on the ukulele, and a duet with The Grateful Dead’s Bob Weir on Roy Orbison’s “Blue Bayou.” In fact, Mendelson was unwittingly adopted by the West Coast jam scene after Weir heard her take on “Friend of the Devil” and recruited her to perform with him.
On Love & Murder, however, Leslie Mendelson offers a different side of her artistry that isn’t present in her early work or recent collaborations. “This collection is just about the songs and my voice,” she says. “That's what people can connect with. It shows where I am right now as an artist and where I want to go.”