David Mansfield

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David Mansfield
BornSeptember 13, 1956 (63 years)
Occupation(s)Musician, composer
Years active1974–present
Associated acts The Alpha Band, Bruce Hornsby and the Range, Quacky Duck and His Barnyard Friends

David Mansfield (born September 13, 1956) [1] is an American musician and composer.


Mansfield was raised in Leonia, New Jersey. His father, Newton Mansfield was a first violinist in the New York Philharmonic. [2] David played guitar, pedal steel guitar and fiddle in his first band, called Quacky Duck and His Barnyard Friends, which also included two sons of Tony Bennett. [3]

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. [4]

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. [5] The band released three albums, The Alpha Band in 1977, Spark in the Dark in 1977, and The Statue Makers of Hollywood in 1978. [6] While Mansfield in 1978 was working on the album, The Statue Makers of Hollywood with The Alpha Band, he appeared as a guitarist on Desire Wire by a struggling pop/rock artist Cindy Bullens that same year. [7]

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, Victoria Williams, Loudon Wainwright III, Willie Nile, Chris Hillman and Herb Pedersen and others.

Mansfield composed the music for the 1980 film Heaven's Gate – he appeared 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. [8] Mansfield cobbled together the soundtrack album for Songcatcher . [9] He also composed the music for the soundtrack to The Ballad of Little Jo (1993), a movie written and directed by Maggie Greenwald, whom he married in 1993. [10] Together they adopted two children. Maisie Mansfield-Greenwald (1997) and Lulu Mansfield-Greenwald (2000). He also composed the score with Van Dyke Parks for Walter Hill's Broken Trail (2006), and they were nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Music Composition for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special (Original Dramatic Score). [11]


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  1. "David Mansfield Biography (1956-)". Filmreference.com. Retrieved May 12, 2021.
  2. "Newton Mansfield, Violin". nyphil.org. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
  3. "Quacky Duck—a Hot New Group from the Suburbs". People.com. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
  4. Turner, Steve (September 11, 2012). "Bob Dylan finds God – a classic article from the vaults". The Guardian . ISSN   0261-3077 . Retrieved March 14, 2019.
  5. "Alpha Band | Biography & History". AllMusic . Retrieved March 14, 2019.
  6. "Alpha Band | Album Discography". AllMusic . Retrieved March 14, 2019.
  7. "Desire Wire - Cindy Bullens | Credits". AllMusic . Retrieved March 14, 2019.
  8. Heaven's Gate (1980) - IMDb , retrieved March 14, 2019
  9. Songcatcher (2000) - IMDb , retrieved March 14, 2019
  10. The Ballad of Little Jo (1993) - IMDb , retrieved March 14, 2019
  11. Broken Trail (TV Mini-Series 2006– ) - IMDb , retrieved March 14, 2019