Try Me One More Time
First Appeared in The Music Box, March 2007, Volume 14, #3
Written by John Metzger
As anyone who closely follows the acoustic side of the roots music scene is aware, David Bromberg is a severely underappreciated performer. His skills on guitar, in particular, are remarkable. By effortlessly intertwining rhythm, bass, and melody in a delicate dance of flowing, finger-picked patterns, he masterfully transforms the mathematical facets lurking at the heart of music theory into something completely tangible.
It has been 17 years since Bromberg issued Sideman Serenade, and the enormous passage of time that has elapsed inevitably makes his latest recording Try Me One More Time a long overdue and highly welcome enterprise. Swiping songs from Bob Dylan (It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry) and Robert Johnson (Kind Hearted Woman) as well as material from Rev. Gary Davis (Trying to Get Home and I Belong to the Band), Elizabeth Cotton (Shake Sugaree), and Blind Willie McTell (Love Changing Blues), he seems to touch upon all of the right bases. This is, however, merely a superficial illusion because somewhere along the way, everything goes horribly awry.
Itís clear that Bromberg not only has a genuine affinity for the material but also knows its history inside and out. Yet, his heart just doesnít seem to be into it. His vocals always have lagged behind his virtuosity, and throughout Try Me One More Time, he struggles mightily to deliver the tunes in a convincing fashion. Throughout the set, the warm intimacy that is established by his solo arrangements is undone by the lack of passion in his vocals. Even worse, the inclusion of cappella renditions of Moonshiner and Lonesome Roving Wolves are untenable diversions that veer far from Brombergís strengths. Still, there is a quiet beauty that lurks beneath the surface of the collection, and it comes to the forefront on the instrumentals Buck Dancerís Choice and Hey Bub. In the end, though, thereís little on Try Me One More Time that leaves much of a lasting impression. Ĺ
Of Further Interest...
Try Me One More Time is available from
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2007 The Music Box