"Try Me One More Time" comes out Feb. 27. Its 16 songs of acoustic folk and blues feature Bromberg and his guitar, and was recorded at the Delaware Center for the Arts' Baby Grand Theater. You can find some two-minute samples here.
The Philly-born, Columbia-educated picker and singer emerged from the Greenwich Village music scene as an in-demand session guitarist, playing on records like Bob Dylan's New Morning and Self Portrait. After his solo performance at the Isle of Wight Festival in 1970, he signed a record deal and "The Holdup" from his 1971 debut was a favorite of underground radio.
i'm going to forgo my usual diet of haute americana, such as dave alvin, james mcmurtry and the bottle rockets, all of whom are are coming to town this weekend, to try something new.
There was a track I put on a compilation in Berlin called Abie The Fishman, after the scene in Animal Crackers when Marx Brothers taunt some poseur they recognize from the old country. And toward the end of the mix the mood changes, the power pop blissfully surges -- Owsley, NRBQ, Fountains of Wayne, the Pernice Brothers -- capped by this winning song no one I played it for had ever heard: "Red Balloon" by Buzz Zeemer.
Old hands will know who they were: A now-disappeared Philadelphia favorite fro the late '90s that included songwriter Frank Brown, formerly of Flight of Mavis, and '80s guitar hero Tommy Conwell, who I once interviewed at his day job teaching third graders in Springfield, Montco., long before Jack Black and School of Rock.
But did you know they're getting back together this weekend?
One tip for the weekend - something for the whole family. By that I mean, I'll be listening to a Broken Social Scene song with Emily Haines' voice haunting me ("Anthems for a Seventeen-Year-Old Girl" in particular), and one of my teenage sons will walk into the room and grunt, "yeah, I know her from Metric."
The Canadian singer, daughter of poet Paul Haines and over-the-border tv journo Avery Haines comes to the First Unitarian Church, 2125 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, and will play an all-ages show in the sanctuary Sunday at 7:30 p.m. Tall Firs open.
Attention must be paid to the lass whose Wikipedia entry notes her early influences were Carla Bley and Robert Wyatt, then P.J. Harvey. R5's Production's describes the show this way:
Damien Rice leaned into the mic and mumbled, "This one is about messing it up even more than the previous," and he was into another delicate song about a broken love. Bed hair and all, he arrived on stage at the World Cafe Live a good half hour late - transportation troubles, they announced. He said he was a little disoriented - just awakened at 12:30 p.m. - his bus having traveled all night from his last gig, in New York City. You wonder what route they took.
It didn't matter. The eight songs he picked out to play for the full lunchtime house were spell-binding, whether it was Rice on the Rhodes electric piano, or gently picking his guitar, backed by a cellist, percussionist, bassist and Lisa Hannigan on vocals. This was really lovely stuff, even if he stuck to the "low songs," as he called them. He said he wasn't sure he could hit any of the high notes, given the indelicate hour. When he had to, though, he soared.
"A skinny, young, Gentile, Leonard Cohen," my English-prof pal observed, adding Irish and dreamy.
A weekend of worthy music - Marah at the TLA and Graham Parker at the Tin Angel Saturday, then We Are Scientists at the First Unitarian Church Sunday - but I'm going long with one man - Alejandro Escovedo returns to the World Cafe Live Saturday. With his string quintet.
"Only Al rocks with strings," wrote the Austin Chronicle last November, when Escovedo released the live "Room of Songs." How does one rock with strings? Visit his MySpace page, which streams video selections from an Austin City Limits appearance. The violin and double cello intro to "Put You Down" is electric.
Nerd Litter nailed it when the San Francisco music blogger wrote of the former member of Rank and File and the True Believers:
Butch Ballard will be picking up a Mellon Jazz achievement award tonight before the Sonny Rollins concert at the Kimmel Center. Butch told Suzanne Cloud, president of the Jazz Bridge Project, that the $5,000 prize will go to a favorite charity.
Does the name sound familiar? Maybe you remember Butch Ballard from playing with both Duke Ellington and Count Basie. Catch him with Charlie Parker or Nina Simone? Trane? Maybe you know the Frankford-born drummer, now 87, from a wedding or a bar mitzvah. Ballard's kept time for them all.
The All The Same Tour rolls into town, and attention must be paid. The Raconteurs open Saturday night at the Spectrum for Mr. Robert Zimmerman and his seasoned band of brothers. We devote the whole Weekend Tunes to the return of the sage, the reluctant prophet, with the voice like sand and glue.
Philebrity's sipped the most Bob Aid on this one, devoting much promotional space to pushing the show. Haven't seen commercialism so startling since Dylan's own Victoria's Secret turn a few years back. I bet Phileb's got a cushioned seat in the press box. He's linked all sorts of YouTube moments and odd-ball cover versions of Bobby Z's canon. Philebrity's Dylanology page is an essential stop on the tour.
But there's lots of low-hanging fruit left for us to share.