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Review: Bob Brozman

January 2001

Bob Brozman = Bitchin Blues


Whilst in Sydney over the New Year, I was lucky enough to be introduced to the phenomenon that is Bob Brozman - USA blues legend extraordinaire. This chap should be a household name and I am going to tell you why.

I have seen many a fantastic, nimble and talented guitarist, however, I can safely scream that I have now seen the best - that is, the best in the entire universe. He was at Woodford - I missed him. He has been traveling in serious blues circles for a long time, and I've missed him. Yes readers, I had to public transport my way to a little Irish pub on the outskirts of Sydney to witness the sheer brilliance of Bob.

The man is a philosopher, an academic, a multi-lingual lover of all cultures, a guru, and above all, tile nastiest slapper of strings that I have ever seen.

Surrounded by a shiny cornucopia of dobros and other assorted 'favourite pieces of wood', he gave one of the most animated and technically flawless performances that I have ever seen. I felt like the privileged member of some secret blues club amongst the intimate and appreciative audience.

The reason for my glowing preamble is well justified - this man does things to strings that I have never seen before, let alone deemed humanly possible. He slapped, slide, tickled, strummed, scratched, picked and thumped his way through the most amazing array of blues that I have ever heard - ranging from dirty deep-south swamp, to Trinidadian folk. He uses his entire body for performance, taking out all manner of passion and soul on his dobros, and made my life with the most awesome rendition of Minnie the Moocher that I have ever heard (He even changed his own string mid-song, whilst engaging in intelligent banter with the audience - keeping the beat going all the while).

The man is a freak of nature. He scats amazingly and uses every inch of his instrument for perfect percussion. Bob's style is myriad, changing tempo and rhythm frequently, without becoming ostentatious or messily complex - he doesn't miss a beat and is therefore (in my opinion), technically unparalleled. You can practice all you want, but it is impossible not to boil this kind of rare musicianship down to the rawest of natural talent. I could go on and on, but there is only limited space to gush.

Bob Brozman is the best you'll ever hear, his slide guitaring and harmonics defy human capability. Always keep your ear out for him - he's on the net. If you are serious about your blues, then I have just recommended your new idol.


Bob Brozman - King of the National Guitar

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