The great David Bromberg graced the River Stage with his band for a set of blues-on-bluesy magic on this last day of the XPN Fest. The man was truly born to be a performer, and he had the crowd enthralled in his quirky tales of woe from start to finish.
Bromberg and his band let the instruments do the storytelling almost more than words – during the epic carnival tale “Sharon,” intro’d by Bromberg as what deciphering the codes on Twitter reveals (yeah, I am still a bit confused about that too), each instrument had a chance to take on an adults-in-Charlie-Brown type bit as they interpreted different parts of the story in the wild and playful song that became more extravagant with every verse. The violinist absolutely crushed every solo run, completely reaffirming my long-time belief that stringed instruments can make every tune that much better.
Special guest Nancy Josephson joined Bromberg on stage near the end of the set to sing a powerful and rousing duet with her husband as the band jammed around them, culminating in a building track that saw the addition of a mandolin and accordion to the already-rocking set. The cheers and applause lasted long after the band left the stage.
The New Lee Highway Blues
David Bromberg, David Bromberg Quintet, xpnfest-river, xponential music festival 2017