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David Mansfield

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Biography

David Mansfield (born c. 1956) is an American violinist, mandolin player, guitarist, and composer.

Raised in Leonia, New Jersey, his first band was Quacky Duck and His Barnyard Friends, which also included two sons of Tony Bennett.

Bob Dylan asked Mansfield to tour with him on his 1975 Rolling Thunder Revue tour; he remained in Dylan’s band through their 1978 world tour.

After the Revue ended in 1976, Mansfield and two other members of Dylan’s band, T-Bone Burnett and Steven Soles, formed The Alpha Band. The band released three albums, The Alpha Band in 1977, Spark In The Dark in 1977, and The Statue Makers of Hollywood in 1978.

In 1986 Mansfield was an initial member of Bruce Hornsby and the Range, including playing the title instrument on the hit “Mandolin Rain”. However he left the Range before their first tour.

Since The Alpha Band broke up, Mansfield has continued to work as a musician in sessions for Dylan, Burnett, Johnny Cash, Nanci Griffith, Roger McGuinn, Sam Phillips, Mark Heard, The Roches, Edie Brickell, Spinal Tap, Lucinda Williams, Dwight Yoakam, and others.

Mansfield composed the music for the notable 1980 film Heaven’s Gate — he appears in the movie, playing the fiddle on roller skates — and has since gone on to write scores for a number of other films, including others directed by Heaven’s Gate’s Michael Cimino. Mansfield cobbled together an especially notable, robust soundtrack album for Songcatcher. He also composed the wonderful and evocative music for the soundtrack to “The Ballad of Little Jo” (1993) written and directed by Maggie Greenwald, whom he later married in 1994.

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