David Bromberg is best known as a guitarist whose tasteful chops can be heard on albums by Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, The Eagles, and Carly Simon. Now the roots artist has rounded up a few of his famous friends, including Levon Helm, Dr. John, Widespread Panic, Vince Gill, John Hiatt, Keb’ Mo’, Los Lobos, Tim O’Brien and Linda Ronstadt, for a new LP entitled Use Me, due July 12 on Appleseed Records.
The title comes from the classic Bill Withers song, which Bromberg covers here. Vince Gill plays lead guitar on “Lookout Mountain,” a track he co-wrote with Guy Clark, and Levon Helm plays drums on “Tongue,” the album’s sole Bromberg original.
For many of the recording sessions for Use Me, Bromberg traveled to his special guests’ home base — Woodstock, New York for Helm, Nashville for John Hiatt, Tim O’Brien and Vince Gill, New Orleans for Dr. John, and Los Angeles for Los Lobos. Each guest artist served as the producer for their own track.
“As artist and producer, I get to completely mold my vision of how the song should go,” says Bromberg. “The drawback is that I don’t get many ideas that are not my own. It was fascinating for me to see the different approaches that everyone used in production.”
Use Me is the followup to 2007’s Grammy-nominated Try Me One More Time, which was Bromberg’s first LP in 17 years. A national tour will follow.