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 “Heaven’s Gate”. It led to a four-film collaboration with director Michael Cimino, which resulted in a Golden Globe nomination for his score for the Oliver Stone-penned “Year Of The Dragon”.
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.