The title of David Bromberg's most recent album, "Use Me," is meant to be taken quite literally. After a suggestion from his wife, Nancy, the Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter reached out to some of his favorite songwriters who he has collaborated with over the years - Lyle Lovett, Levon Helm, Linda Ronstadt, Dr. John, Keb' Mo', Los Lobos - and asked each artist to write a song for him.
Then, he asked them to produce him singing the song.
The results, recorded over a period of two years, make up Bromberg's latest musical adventure, something even he admits in a recent interview "takes chutzpah." Still, the album has received critical praise.
"Bromberg still makes every track shine," says a recent Rolling Stone review of the album, "like the A-list session man he's always been."
Bromberg and his quartet will appear at the Landis Theater in Vineland 8 p.m. Friday, April 12. The one-night show is part of the Appel Farm at The Landis concert series.
Born in Philadelphia, Bromberg first picked up a guitar at 13 years old after he was inspired by the music of Pete Seeger and The Weavers. He later found his way to Greenwich Village's coffeehouse folk music scene in the mid-1960s, where he became renowned for his guitar picking and stylistic range.
It wasn't long before other musicians were seeking him out as a back-up artist. To date, Bromberg has played as a sideman on more than 100 albums for Bob Dylan, The Grateful Dead, The Eagles, Carly Simon, Willie Nelson and Ringo Starr, to name a few.
Although based in folk and blues, Bromberg's music has expanded over the years to encompass bluegrass, country, ragtime and rock genres. His offbeat, tongue-in-cheek lyrics have become his trademark. Bromberg's 2007 album, "Try Me One More Time," was nominated for a Grammy Award.
When Bromberg isn't recording, he's busy running his own violin shop, David Bromberg Fine Violins, in Wilmington, Del., where he has lived since 2002.