Son of classical musicians and formally trained as a violinist, David was first signed (by the legendary Mary Martin), at sixteen, to Warner Bros. Records as a member of "Quacky Duck And His Barnyard Friends", along with founding members Dan and Daegal Bennett, sons of singer Tony Bennett.
At age 18, David joined Bob Dylan's band for four years, starting with the "Rolling Thunder Revue". He recorded three albums with Dylan and appears on numerous compilations and live albums, including "Biograph" and "Bob Dylan Live 1975 The Bootleg Series Vol. 5". David appeared in the NBC special "Hard Rain", and the feature film "Renaldo and Clara".
In 1976 David was signed to Arista and released three albums (two of which he co-produced with T-Bone Burnett and Steven Soles) as a member of the critically acclaimed "Alpha Band". He later went on to work with Burnett on his solo albums and other projects, including writing the score for the feature film "Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood".
David is an award-winning film and television composer with many major credits. His score for the A&E mini-series "Broken Trail", co-written with Van Dyke Parks, was nominated for an Emmy. David's first film score was for the notorious epic
Gate". It led to a four-film collaboration with director
Cimino, which resulted in a Golden Globe nomination for his score for the Oliver Stone-penned
Other long-standing relationships are with the esteemed Mexican auteur Arturo Ripstein, and with Maggie Greenwald ("Ballad of Little Jo", "Songcatcher"). His score for Ripstein's "Deep Crimson (Profundo Carmesi)" won David the Golden Ocelot at the Venice film festival (Best Musical Score); this honor was repeated at the Havana Film Festival. His work with Greenwald is also highly acclaimed; on her film "Songcatcher" (a music-centric film about song collecting in the Appalachain Mountains), David not only wrote the score, but researched and supervised all of the traditional ballad singing and folk music in the film.
David has written scores in a multitude of styles for many other film directors as well, including Harold Ramis, Walter Hill, Thomas Schlamme, Frank Pierson, Robert Duvall, and Gavin O'Connor. Some of the many television directors David has worked with include Glenn Jordan, Jeff Bleckner, Tim Hunter, and Robert Allan Ackerman.
David produced the soundtrack albums for the films "Heaven's Gate", "Year of the Dragon", "The Sicilian", "Desperate Hours", "Ballad Of Little Jo", and "Broken Trail", among others. Excerpts from his scores for "Heaven's Gate" and "The Sicilian" have been performed at the Royal Albert Hall and Carnegie Hall, respectively.
David continues to be a world-class recording and performing musician. A founding member of "Bruce Hornsby and the Range", David was awarded an RIAA platinum album and a Grammy Award for "The Way It Is", as well as as RIAA gold albums for Bob Dylan's "Desire" and "Hard Rain". He performs and records with a wide range of artists, playing a variety of instruments including electric/acoustic/classical/slide guitars, violin, viola, mandolin, mandocello, Irish bouzouki, pedal steel guitar, lap steel, banjo and Dobro/National resonator guitars.
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Below is a list of artists I've had the pleasure to work with over the years, either live or in the studio.
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Last updated June 2017
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Corinne Bailey Rae
Lou Ann Barton
T. Graham Brown
The Burns Sisters
June Carter Cash
Cashman and West
The Chambers Brothers
Kasey Chambers and Shane Nicholson
Gary Clarke, Jr.
The Courage Brothers
Demolition String Band
Ramblin' Jack Elliot
Antony Hegarty (Antony & The Johnsons)
Deborah Holland (Animal Logic)
Jolie Holland (Be Good Tanyas)
Mary Lee Kortes
The McCrary Sisters
The McGarrigle Sisters
Rhett Miller (Old 97s)
My Morning Jacket
Aoife O'Donovan (Crooked Still)
Van Dyke Parks
Radford (Johnny Mead)
Mac Rebennack (Dr. John)
Brad Roberts (Crash Test Dummies)
Darius Rucker (Hootie and the Blowfish)
Andrew Strong (The Commitments)
Dave Thomas (Pere Ubu)
Little Steven Van Zandt
Vitamin C (Coleen Fitzpatrick)
Loudon Wainwright III
The Williams Brothers
The Wood Brothers
Yo La Tengo