The Quintessential Quintet

P.D. Kelley

The Dave Bromberg Quintet can do it all. On Tuesday, October 2nd, the Rogue crowd heard blues, bluegrass, western swing, folk, country, classic pop ballads plus a little gospel. And it was just grand! Bromberg himself is a versatile musician: if it has strings he can play it. At 73 his picking doesn’t appear to have slowed down. His voice warbles at times but is true in tone and, man, is he sassy. He bantered with the audience for the entire show and sang lyrics that had us all chortling. “I’ll Take You Back” is a blues tune that starts out with the classic she done me wrong scenario and then Bromberg ramped things up. “I’ll take you back” he sang slyly, “when snakes have knees and money grows on trees. I’ll take you back when the preachers on TV send money to me. I’ll take you back when igloos have steam heating and Donald Trump stops tweeting.” And like that for about ten more couplets. This night he switched back and forth from acoustic to electric guitar and it was obvious he was having as much fun as his audience. Early on he said he was impressed with the Rogue Theatre and that he was happy to be on tour with the best band he’s ever had. Mark Cosgrove on guitar and mandolin was the acknowledged master, better than Bromberg, said Bromberg. He also played both acoustic and electric and held the crowd in thrall during a marvelous solo when he owned the stage all by himself. Suavek Zanisienko stayed on his electric bass and was masterful without being flashy. The surprise was his superb vocals in a high tenor that was startlingly clear and pure. Josh Kanusky on drums was also impressive but Nate Grower on fiddle was simply stunning and made his instrument soar. All his band mates watched him in awe when his playing was featured. The band mixed it up, gathering together in an intimate circle with Kanusky playing just one snare, for a sweet rendition of “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow.” There might have been some dry eyes in the house but mine weren’t and the crowd sang along just because it felt right to do so. As part of an encore, all five did an acapella version of “It’s Me Oh Lord (Standing in the Need of Prayer)”. After the concert I heard so many positive comments, mostly that it was one of the best shows folks had been to in a long time and I agree. It was just like a perfect meal: not too little, not too much, some of this, some of that and we all left the table pleasantly full. Dave and Company, we’ll take you back when flowers smell sweet and we need another treat.

Catch you on the flip side…