David Bromberg - guitars, dobro, fiddle, mandolin; Brantley Keams - fiddle, mandolin; Hugh McDonald - bass; Steve Mosley - drums; Peter Ecklund - cornet, trumpet; John Firmin - saxophone,m clarinet; Curt Linberg - trombone
David Bromberg spent most of the 1960s as a backing musician and highly regarded session player for the likes of Jerry Jeff Walker, Bob Dylan and others. At the onset of the 1970s, he signed as a solo artist with Columbia, and also developed a lasting musical relationship with members of the Grateful Dead. Bromberg, a multi-instrumentalist who was equally as gifted on guitar as on fiddle, built a cult status as a touring champion of old time blues, and always brought a humorous edge to his repertoire - much in the same way that Arlo Guthrie did with folk music.
This recording was made as part of a multiple night performance taped by Fantasy Records (with whom Bromberg had just signed), for what would become the How Late'll Ya Play Til? live album; moreover, they stand as proof of what a great performer Bromberg has always been, and of what a stellar band he had at the time. If there was ever an angry white guy who had a right to sing the blues, it's Bromberg. He attacks these songs as if he's the living ghost of Robert Johnson or Howlin' Wolf, but always seems to infuse them with a distinctive humor.
Anyone who can legitimately sing a song called "Loaded and Laid" and make it sound like it is indeed a real concern is amazing - and that's exactly what Bromberg does here. The highlight of this show is his hysterical and very angry "I Will Not Be Your Fool," which has been a signature song in his live shows for years. He also does two Robert Johnson songs during this set.
Credit must also go to the crackerjack band he had, especially fiddle player Jay Ungar, who plays exceptionally on these songs. You'll wish you were part of the audience once you hear this concert; it's clear they were having a mighty fine time.