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Highlights: David Bromberg Brings the Blues to Chandler

  • David Bromberg and his quintet come to Chandler Music Hall in Randolph on Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017, in support of their latest recording, which focuses entirely on the blues.

  • The Royal Frog Ballet performs its Surrealist Cabaret at the site of the Feast and Field Market in Barnard on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. For more information see 'Best Bets.' (Courtesy photograph)

  • The Emerson String Quartet plays in Spaulding Auditorium at Dartmouth College's Hopkins Center for the Arts on Saturday night. For more information, see 'Best Bets.' (Courtesy photograph)

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 9/28/2017 12:05:46 AM
Modified: 9/28/2017 10:43:12 AM

Roots-music veteran David Bromberg thought that he and his band had wrapped the recording of their new album, The Blues, the Whole Blues and Nothing But the Blues in the late summer of 2016.

But then Bromberg’s manager found a song with that very title, by Gary Nicholson and Russell Smith of the 1970s band the Amazing Rhythm Aces.

“Of course, we had to go back to the studio and record it,” Bromberg recalled during a telephone interview last week.

Bromberg and his quintet will bring their singular focus on the blues and nothing but the blues into their performance at Randolph’s Chandler Music Hall next Thursday evening, part of a tour in support of the recording that has taken them far and wide.

“It’s the first album I ever did that was all one genre,” said Bromberg, now 72 and still based in his native Delaware. “There are a lot of different genres of music that have something called the blues in them, and I’m known for playing any damned genre I feel like playing.”

For just about all of the 1980s and 1990s, Bromberg didn’t feel like playing much of anything, at least in front of audiences. After playing a wide range of stringed instruments and singing during the early part of his career, which included collaborations with the likes of Jerry Jeff Walker, Bonnie Raitt, Bob Dylan and the Reverend Gary Davis as well as wide-ranging solo tours in the 1970s, he went into what he describes as “a period of self-imposed exile” to become a violin expert and a cultural ambassador for his hometown of Wilmington, Del.

“I did a few occasional shows, very occasional,” said Bromberg, whose rare appearances included a stop at the Lebanon Opera House in the mid-1990s. “When you take that much time off, you miss a generation or two, and it’s hard to make that up. The wonderful and astounding thing is that I have a really big audience now. The demographics have changed. I have younger people. It’s much more of a mixture now. Back in the day, there were almost no younger people at my concerts.”

And he’s not just seeing them in his audiences.

“What’s surprising is how many younger musicians are taking up the blues,” Bromberg said. “It seems to be fairly random, and fairly widespread.

“Wherever it’s coming from, it’s a wonderful thing.”

Touring now with an ensemble that includes bluegrass fiddler Nate Grower, Bromberg is finding a new energy that was missing during his two-decade hiatus.

“It’s much easier touring with a group like this,” he said. “I was working way too much way back when. That’s why I stopped for 22 years. … Now I’ve taken care of it. In a group like this, you have more ammunition. You have more power. You have more things you can do.”

The David Bromberg Quintet plays the Chandler Music Hall in Randolph next Thursday night. Singer-songwriter Brian Mackey opens the show at 7. For tickets ($28 to $38) and more information, visit or call 802-728-6464.

Best Bets

The Royal Frog Ballet, which includes Thetford Academy graduate Sophie Wood, performs its Surrealist Cabaret at the Feast and Field Market in Barnard on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings. The cabaret, starting each day at 5, blends storytelling, dance, installation pieces and roving characters to explore and celebrate the approaching harvest season. This year’s theme is “Roots.” For tickets ($9 to $18) and more information, visit Spectators are encouraged to arrive early.

The Chandler Music Hall hosts a trifecta of a cappella on Saturday night, with performances by The Persuasions, Maple Jam and The Dartmouth Aires. The concert begins at 7. Tickets cost $32 in advance and $34 the day of the show. To reserve seats and learn more, visit or call 802-728-6464.

The Russian Grand Ballet performs Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake at Lebanon Opera House on Saturday night at 7:30. To reserve tickets ($50 to $80) and learn more, visit or call 603-448-0400 or visit the box office in City Hall during weekday business hours.

The Emerson String Quartet plays works of Mozart, Beethoven and contemporary composer Mark-Anthony Turnage on Saturday night at 8, during a concert at Dartmouth College’s Spaulding Auditorium in Hanover. To reserve tickets ($17 to $50) and learn more, visit or call 603-646-2422.

Vermont comedian/performance artist Rusty Dewees serves as ringmaster to the third annual music festival benefiting the Northeast Slopes ski area in East Corinth on Sunday morning and afternoon. Performers include didgeridoo player Pitz Quattrone and the Freelancers with South Newbury, Vt., fiddler Patrick Ross, the Americana ensembles Stovepipe Mountain and Dwayne Benjamin Mountain High, the Bayley-Hazen Boys bluegrass band and the Bow Thayer Band. Admission is $6 to $15. To learn more, visit or the ski area’s Facebook page.

Looking Ahead

The Gully Boys, Arthur James, The Tricksters, Toast, The 4 Horsemen, Chris Warren and Joey Leone will perform at the Woodstock Town Hall next Thursday night at 7, during a concert benefiting Hartland singer-guitarist Brian Warren in his recovery from a recent stroke. For general-admission tickets ($20), visit or call 802-457-3981. To learn more about the effort to help Warren, visit and type Help Our Friend Brian Warren into the search bar.

The ArtisTree Music Theatre Festival will raise the curtain on its adaptation of The Marvelous Wonderettes next Thursday night at 7, with a preview performance at ArtisTree’s new Grange Theatre in South Pomfret.

Emmy Award-winning actor and Upper Valley resident Gordon Clapp portrays a certain New England poet in the one-man show Robert Frost: This Verse Business, at Northern Stage’s Barrette Center for the Arts in White River Junction, starting next Thursday night at 7:30. Additional previews are scheduled for Oct. 6 at 7:30 p.m. and Oct. 7 at 2 p.m., before opening night at 7:30 on Oct. 7. For tickets ($13.75 to $32.75 for previews, $13.75 to $57.75 for regular performances, $20 for Oct. 10) and more information, visit or call 802-296-7000.

This Verse Business will run in repertory with Northern Stage’s production of A Doll’s House — a first for the company — which has performances this weekend before taking a week’s break.

Clarinetist Steve Loew and pianist Daniel Weiser will play works of George Gershwin, Harold Arlen, Simon Sargon, Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw and other composers at two Upper Valley venues over the first weekend of October, in Classicopia’s second series of concerts exploring the connections between klezmer music and jazz. The tour begins on Oct. 6 at 7:30 p.m. at the First Congregational Church in Lebanon. The duo also will perform on Oct 7 at 7:30 p.m. at the Roth Center for Jewish Life in Hanover. For tickets ($18) and more information, visit Loew and Weiser also will perform the program in Stowe, Vt., on Oct. 8; to reserve tickets and learn more, visit or call 802-253-1800.

The Camerata New England trio of violinist Omar Chen Guay, cellist Linda Galvan and pianist Evelyn Zuckerman will play chamber works of Schumann, Dvorak and Ferruccio Busoni at the Norwich Congregational Church on Oct. 7 at 7 p.m. To reserve tickets ($28) and learn more, visit or call 802-785-4833.

Theater/Performance Art

The ArtisTree Music Theatre Festival wraps its adaptation of Godspell at the new Grange Theatre in South Pomfret this weekend, with performances at 7:30 tonight and Friday night, at 3 on Saturday afternoon, at 7:30 Saturday night, at 2 on Sunday afternoon. For tickets ($15 to $25) and more information about this and subsequent festival productions, visit or call 802-457-3500.


Steve Spensley performs Americana music during the Lebanon Farmers Market between 4 and 7 this afternoon in Colburn Park.

The John LaRouche Trio plays jazz at Fable Farm in Barnard tonight starting at 5:30, during the weekly Feast and Field Market. Next Thursday night, Myra Flynn plays soul music at the venue.

The string band Pinedrop plays folk, Americana and bluegrass during the Planned Parenthood New Hampshire Action Fund’s Harvest House Party in New London on Friday. To order tickets ($10 to $50) and find directions to the benefit event, visit


Nora Jacobson presents The Hanji Box at the Woodstock Town Hall Theatre tonight at 7. During the post-screening discussion of the film’s exploration of the pitfalls of international adoption, speakers will include Margaret (Meg) Daiss Hurley, author of the essay that inspired the movie, and an expert on adoption. To order tickets ($7 to $9) and learn more, visit or call 802-457-3981.

The Hopkins Center for the Arts in Hanover screens I, Claude Monet on Sunday afternoon at 4 at Loew Auditorium. The high-definition exploration of the Impressionist painter’s work features the voice of actor Henry Goodman, reading excerpts from hundreds of Monet’s letters. For tickets ($15) and more information, visit or call 603-646-2422.

Bar and Club Circuit

Guitarist Ted Mortimer and fiddler Thal Aylward pull into Windsor Station tonight at 7:30. Following them to the venue over the coming week are The Damn Truth with a set of indie rock on Saturday night at 9:30 and Hartland folk singer-songwriter Libby Kirkpatrick on Tuesday night at 6.

The Dave Clark Duo performs roots music at the tavern at Jesse’s restaurant in Hanover on Friday evening starting at 5.

Saxophonist Mike Parker and singer Alison “AliT” Turner perform soul, funk, R&B and classic rock at Stony Brook Tavern in Stockbridge on Friday night starting at 6, and at Salt hill Pub in West Lebanon on Saturday night at 9.

Singer-songwriter Chris Powers kicks off the weekend of music at Salt hill Pub in Newport on Friday night at 6. Following him to the venue on Saturday night at 9 will be singer-songwriter Wayne Canney.

Ben Fuller plays a set of acoustic rock at Salt hill Pub in Hanover on Friday night at 8. And on Saturday night at 9, Mark and Deb Bond perform folk music.

The Blues Brothers Revue visits Salt hill Pub in downtown Lebanon on Friday night at 9, followed at the same hour on Saturday by the Adam McMahon Trio setting the classic-rock rhythm for dancing.

Tirade frontman and multi-instrumentalist Toby Moore rocks Salt hill Pub in West Lebanon on Friday night at 9.

Guitarist Ken Bonfield plays the weekly Sunapee Community Coffeehouse on Friday night at 7. While admission is free, donations are welcome.

Appearing at Skunk Hollow Tavern as The Yoyos on Friday night at 9, singer-guitarist Ted Mortimer, saxophonist Katie Runde, trumpeter Dave Ellis, bassist Chip Blough, drummer Marcus Copening and singer Linda Boudreault play soul, funk and blues.

Toast ranges among R&B, funk and soul during its appearance at Crossroads Restaurant and Bar in South Royalton on Friday night from 9 to 12.

Bow Thayer performs his weekly session of Americana music at The Skinny Pancake in Hanover on Wednesday night at 7. And next Thursday night at 8, the Americana duos Oliver the Crow and The Brother Brothers will share the stage. For tickets ($12 to $15) to the Thursday show, and for more information, visit or call 603-277-9115.

Open Mics

Jim Yeager hosts open-mics tonight at 7 in the Hayloft at ArtisTree Community Arts Center in South Pomfret, on Monday night at 8 at Bentley’s in Woodstock (filling in for Brian Warren) and at 8:30 Wednesday night in Hartland’s Skunk Hollow Tavern

Ramunto’s Brick & Brew Pizza in Bridgewater hosts an open mic at 7:30 on Thursday nights. Participants get a free large cheese pizza.

String players of all ages and abilities are welcome at the weekly acoustic jam session at South Royalton’s BALE Commons on Friday night from 6:30 to 10.

Joe Stallsmith leads a weekly hootenanny of Americana, folk and bluegrass at Salt hill Pub in Hanover on Monday nights at 6.

Bradford’s Colatina Exit holds an open mic, Tuesday nights at 8.

David Corriveau can be reached at and at 603-727-3304.

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