By Miles Raymer
December 11, 2014 at 04:44 PM EST
Kyle Dean Reinford

David Bronson’s music is rooted in the works of gently folky singer-songwriters like Cat Stevens and James Taylor, but for the first single from his upcoming third album, Questions (out Jan. 13 on Big Arc Records), he recruited a couple of people who worked with a much different kind of artist from the ’70s. The sunny, strummy “Songbird” features contributions from singer Robin Clark, who sang backups on David Bowie’s “Young Americans” (alongside a young Luther Vandross), and her husband Carlos Alomar, who’s been playing guitar for Bowie off and on for decades.

“There’s something about starting the record with a voice other than mine that I really liked,” Bronson writes in an email, “but you would only do that if it’s something special, and you’re not going to get more special than Robin Clark.”

The love fest between Bronson and his contributors goes both ways. “I love intelligent songs,” Alomar writes. “Songs that are worth singing, songs that would stand the test of time. When I first heard David, iconic writers came to mind. Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Cat Stevens, and dare I say it, even Bowie.”

“In every generation there is always a need for a great storyteller,” Clark adds, “one that can shine a light on the human condition. I think that David Bronson is that person.”