Use Me


Since the start of his solo career nearly 40 years ago, eclectic singer and songwriter David Bromberg has been known for tapping tradition to borrow from the blues. Happily, Use Me—his second release since ending a long studio silence in 2007—finds him in a feisty mood, assured and as focused as ever. Given this edgy series of broadsides, he also brandishes an unusually brusque point of view, with songs such as “Tongue,” “Ride on out a Ways” and “You Don’t Wanna Make Me Mad” offering scornful rebukes to the various women who have riled him. His impassioned playing and surly vocals summon the spirits of Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters, and various big-name guests (Dr. John, Levon Helm, John Hiatt, Los Lobos, Widespread Panic) eagerly tag along as well. He may be best known as a multitalented sideman, but Use Me further proves that Bromberg needn’t cede the spotlight. —Lee Zimmerman

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