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Bob Brozman
SRD - 1-6-2008 at 08:58

To the Conygre Hall in Timsbury to see Bob Brozman as part of the Bath Music Festival. I can't say I was all that impressed, he's obviously a talented musician but the baggage that he surrounds his act with spoiled what could have been an entertaining concert.

His music is based on the Blues and played on a variety of guitars, mainly steel but including an Indian one strung not dissimilarly to a sitar, a little Mexican ukelele and a more traditional early, Pacific style one.

He has quite definite views on music, including that it is important to let the music do the talking, it's just a shame that he doesn't take his own advice. The stream of consciousness of his thoughts, the constant denigration of much of his native country, his stereotyping of nationalities (I wonder does he do the same about the British when he's playing elsewhere?) and his constant harping on about certain American politicians and party, fill not only the intervals between songs but intrude into them as well.

He seemed technically able but the lack of structure to his playing meant that his flights off the tune tended to have a sameness to them that a more able jazzer would have been able to control more closely. It was a shame that he didn't stick more closely to the genres he started the tunes off as, as he seemed a fine exponent of 12 bar, as well as the other aspects of blues music from the other parts of the world that he took us to; sometimes more (his visits to the Pacific and Indian Oceans) and sometimes less (his murdering of La Vie en Rose) successfully.

However he works incredibly hard and interacted well with his audience; even I, a confirmed cynic that rarely joins in (having an all too accurate understanding of my own musical ability), belted out the responses in Cab Callaway's Minnie the Moocher with the rest of the audience and managed to maintain accurate time whilst doing the 'simple' Indian schoolchildren's exercises.

I'm glad we went, but won't bother to see him again.