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Americana great David Bromberg returns to his roots on latest album

Though David Bromberg is known on the Americana circuit, his musical journey began with the blues.

And his journey has spanned more than five decades and allowed him to play with some of the most influential musicians in the world.

Bob Dylan, George Harrison and Jerry Garcia are just a few the musicians he has shared the stage with.

It was always blues that stayed close to Bromberg’s heart.

He’s back with “The Blues, the Whole Blues, and Nothing But the Blues,” his first release for Red House Records.

Bromberg worked with multi-Grammy-winning producer/accompanist Larry Campbell in focusing on the music Bromberg discovered in high school, when, in the late 1950s, he was introduced to a friend’s dad’s collection of blues 78-rpm records. He’d only just taken up guitar as a means to pass the time while in bed with the measles.

“I loved those 78s so much,” he says. “I taped them on a portable reel-to-reel, so I could listen at home and learn.”

Bromberg says the album is both blues primer and an opportunity to witness a master embracing this distinctly American music with passion and grace.

“There’s a lot of different types of blues on there,” Bromberg says. “I had my pick of songs that I wanted to choose from. On the cover of Ray Charles’ ‘A Fool for You,’ the guitar on the track is as close to Ray’s piano playing. That was something I wanted to keep as authentic as possible.”

On the album, Bromberg has two original songs.

He says that over the course of his career, his writing process has remained the same.

“I’ve never made a point of being a singer-songwriter,” he says. “When the songs come to me, they come. I don’t sit around for hours at a time just writing. The inspiration strikes, and I pay attention.”

For more than 40 years, traveling around the world performing, Bromberg says, it’s the actual performances that keep him going.

“I enjoy being on stage and performing with my friends,” he says. “I don’t get paid to play; that’s for free. I get paid to travel and endure the long hours of travel. The performance is the one thing that I’ve loved for years and continue to enjoy.”

Bromberg says his fans will notice another difference on his new album – his voice.

“When I first started, singing was something I did between guitar solos,” Bromberg says. “But during the break I did so little performing, I took some voice lessons, and now, I know more what I’m doing. I love singing now. Love it.”