Known for his prowess on guitar, fiddle, mandolin and dobro, (he’s played with Bob Dylan, George Harrison and Jerry Garcia, among others) Americana godfather David Bromberg also runs a speciality music store.
Answering the phone at David Bromberg Fine Violins, his shop on North Market Street in Wilmington, Del., Bromberg chatted for a few minutes about “Bromberg’s Big Noise,” a festival with music, arts and crafts, food and beer that he is headlining with the David Bromberg Big Band on Saturday May 20 at Tubman Garrett Riverfront Park. Also performing will be Front Country, Anders Osborne, Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams, Dr. John & The Nite Trippers and The Chris Robinson Brotherhood.
Big Noise is new, well sort of. “The first one was quite a few years ago,” Bromberg said. “I’m very much looking forward to it. I’ve been getting calls from friends who want comps (artist complimentary tickets). That tells me people are excited.”
From the sound of it, the Bromberg’s Big Noise Music Festival lineup was as easy to assemble as scrolling down a friends contact list. Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams are label mates of Bromberg’s on Red House Records, and three-time Grammy winner Campbell has worked closely the last few years with Bromberg as a producer. “Chris (Robinson) was in The Black Crowes, and Larry Campbell produced them,” he said, explaining the networking connection that brings The Chris Robinson Brotherhood to Wilmington.
When asked about the long stretch of time he dropped out of the music business from 1980-2002, Bromberg said he had become afraid of becoming “an imitation of doing something he used to love.” “I thought I wasn’t a musician. I got burnt out. I’m afraid I was too dumb to realize it was burn out ... I could’ve taken a few nights off and come back,” he said.
The silver lining was that it allowed him the time to study how to make violins, and get good at it. “You have to learn things one by one, the same way you learn songs,’ Bromberg said.
The David Bromberg Big Band should be visiting songs from the 2016 release “The Blues, the Whole Blues and Nothing but the Blues,” which features renditions of songs by Robert Johnson, Ray Charles, Sonny Boy Williamson, Bessie Smith, Muddy Waters, George “Little Hat” Jones and others.
Get more at www.bignoisefestival.com.