Supporting the Arts in Western Massachusetts and Beyond

April 12, 2010

David Bromberg/Angel Band

Mahaiwe, Great Barrington, MA
April 10, 2010
by Eric Sutter

"Swing Sweet with A Little Back Beat" opened the evening with the Angel Band singing sweetly. Three part female harmonies, solos and excellent musicianship from the band accompaniment of acoustic guitar, bass, fiddle, mandolin and rub board combined to give a pleasing sound to the ears of all. The Angel Band is comprised of Nancy Josephson, Aly Paige and Kathleen Webber who focus on a gospel tinged conglomeration of original music with roots in folk, blues and country. By the second number, "We're All in the Same Boat Now," the audience was captured. The back-up band shined -- especially Christie Lenee with a couple of acoustic guitar solos. One song, "Hope Is on the Way" for Haitian Children Relief, has already been picked up by the Jacmel hip hop group for its video shoot in Haiti.

The David Bromberg Quartet opened the second half with "Sweetheart, I Beg You to Come Home." Multi-instrumentalist Bromberg is proficient at playing assorted guitars, mandolins and violins in an eclectic Americana style. His rag tag combination of bluegrass, folk, blues and rock n' roll won over the audience as he shifted from acoustic to electric guitar. An ode to the traveling life, "Summer Wages" featured harmony singing with Bromberg's strangely unique lead voice. "Fiddle Tunes," with three fiddlers including Bromberg, got toes a tappin' with hot pickin' all around. A guitar showpiece, "Somewhere over the Rainbow" with an innovative solo adaptation by Bromberg, was spectacular and left the audience spellbound. His versatility showed as he electrified the blues of "Drown in My Own Tears" and gently played "(What A) Wonderful World." He showcased "Sharon" from 1972 in which the electric slide guitar cried his name "David" as if it was Sharon speaking to him. The troupe's encore was "It's Over Baby" with typical Bromberg humor. A second encore was an unplugged "Roll on John" by the quartet singing in a living room style, up stage and center.