Godfather of Americana: Bromberg headlining Porkies festival

Folk legend David Bromberg and his band will play for the first time in the Upper Peninsula as the headliners of this weekend’s 13th annual Porcupine Mountain Music Festival.

Called the godfather of Americana, the 71-year-old multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter has been honing his craft for decades, despite taking a 22-year break from performing.

“I got burned out and I was too stupid to realize it was burn out,” Bromberg said in a phone interview from the road Tuesday. “I decided I didn’t want to be one of those guys who drags their ass on stage and does a bitter imitation of something you used to love.”

Luckily that’s not the case for the passionate and talented musician, who said he’s looking forward to his maiden journey to the U.P.

Bromberg has worked with many famous musicians, including Jerry Jeff Walker, Willie Nelson, Jerry Garcia, Bob Dylan, Pete Seeger, Doc Watson and former Beatle George Harrison.

“I’m on about 150 LPs and CDs,” he said.

Bromberg currently lives in Wilmington, Delaware, where he and his wife of 37 years, sculptor and songwriter Nancy Josephson, own an extensive violin shop: David Bromberg Fine Violins.

“As always, I’m blown away by our lineup – by the sheer talent that will be coming to the Porkies to play for us,” music festival Director Cheryl Sundberg said. “We can’t say enough how excited we are to have legendary performer David Bromberg and the Quintet performing as headliners. We love the man and his music and now love his sense of humor.”

Bromberg will participate in an interactive Q & A session inside the ski chalet at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park ski hill, which is transformed into a natural amphitheater for the jam-packed musical extravaganza that begins Friday and ends Sunday.

The quintet will perform at 8:30 p.m. Saturday.

Tickets are $90 for a three-day pass, $35 for a single-day pass. Seniors over 60 and teens ages 13-17 receive $5 off regular prices. Tickets for children ages 7-12 are $10 for either a three-day pass or a single day pass. Children 6 and under receive free admission when accompanied by a parent or guardian.