Personnel includes: David Bromberg (vocals, acoustic, electric & 12-string guitars, dobro, fiddle); Jerry Garcia (vocals, acoustic & electric guitars); Andy Statman (vocals, mandolin, tenor & baritone saxophones); Bernie Leadon (acoustic guitar); Richard Fegy (acoustic guitar, fiddle); David Nichtern (guitar, piano); George Harrison, Brian Ahern (guitar); "Red" Rhodes (pedal steel guitar); Jody Stecher, Jay Ungar (mandolin, fiddle); Neil Rossi (fiddle); Billy Novick (pennywhistle); Willow Scarlett, Bob Dylan (harmonica); David Amram (French horn); Keith Godchaux (piano); Steve Burgh, Hugh McDonald, Tony Markelis, Phil Lesh (bass); Bill Kreutzman, Steve Mosley (drums) Emmylou Harris, Tracy Nelson (background vocals).
Porducers: David Bromberg, Brian Ahern, Bernie Leadon.
Compilation producer: Bruce Dickinson.
Digitally remastered by Chris Athens (Sony Music Studios, New York, New York).
This is part of Sony Legacy's Common Chord series.
If there's anyone who stands to benefit from being anthologized, it's David Bromberg. An insanely talented guitarist and songwriter, Bromberg made loads of uneven albums in the '70s, but each one contained at least a couple of gems. THE PLAYER conveniently cuts through Bromberg's chronic inconsistency to place the gems before the eyes and ears of the public at large. An educated white Jewish kid playing the blues sounds like common practice now, but in the late '60s and early '70s, it was sacrilege. Bromberg made it work with good humor and style (as on "Dehlia" and "Suffer To Sing The Blues") without ever lapsing into schtick.
In addition to his considerable guitar prowess (he began as a sideman with everyone from Jerry Jeff Walker, whose "Mr. Bojangles" is covered here, to unsung folk legend Paul Seibel, whose "Spanish Johnny" found its way onto a Bromberg album, but not onto this collection), Bromberg had a fair amount of top notch songs in him. There's still nothing else in the body of modern American song that sounds even remotely like the graphically chilling "Sammy's Song." The loopy charm of "The Holdup" (cowritten with George Harrison) shows that Bromberg's attention to songcraft never got in the way of his well-developed sense of humor.