Music

The King Of The '60s Sidemen Returns, 'Only Slightly Mad'

NPR | Oct. 18, 2013 7:13 p.m.

Contributed By:

NPR Staff

David Bromberg's new album, Only Slightly Mad, is out now.

David Bromberg's new album, Only Slightly Mad, is out now.

Courtesy of the artist, Jim McGuire

Only Slightly Mad, David Bromberg‘s new album, marks a substantial return for the multi-instrumentalist. In the late 1960s, Bromberg developed a reputation as a “first-call” guitarist, meaning that when artists — including Bob Dylan, Ringo Starr, Carly Simon, Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris and John Prine, to name a few — needed someone to record or play live with them, Bromberg was at the top of the shortlist.

The highly sought-after musician enjoyed years of collaborations with many of the music world’s biggest players. But after a little over a decade, something changed.

“I got burned out in 1980,” Bromberg says. “At one point, I was on the road for two years without being home for as long as two weeks, and I was too dumb to realize that it was burnout. I just felt I had to stop. I decided I was no longer a musician, if I had ever been one. But maybe the intelligent part of it is that I didn’t want to be one of these guys who drags himself onto the stage and does a bitter imitation of something he used to love.”

NPR’s Robert Siegelspoke with Bromberg about his musical influences and how he occupied himself after a self-imposed hiatus from life on the road. Hear more of their conversation at the audio link.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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