By birth a Tennessean, David Massengill “emigrated” to the Greenwich Village folk scene in the mid-70’s, walking the same streets and playing the same storied coffee houses as Dylan and Van Ronk.
Thirty years later, he’s still walking those streets—but now he’s being recognized universally for his pivotal role in keeping the American folk music tradition alive. Called “a master of vivid lyrical imagery”(Boston Globe), David continues to create beautiful and poignant “story songs” that are intimate and relevant and tug at your emotions. Songs like “Rider On An Orphan Train“ a narrative ballad ringing with truth and anguish” (Washington Post), “Number One In America”, a riveting and ironic civil rights anthem” (Boston Globe) and the biting political statement, “The Gambler”, a thing of beauty about all things ugly” (Barry Crimmins).
His songs have been covered and recorded by Joan Baez, The Roches, Lucy Kaplansky, Tom Russell, Nanci Griffith and his mentor, Dave Van Ronk, who said David “took the dull out of dulcimer!” Notes Music Boulevard, “That David made the lap dulcimer his instrument of choice tells us a lot about the soft-spoken native of eastern Tennessee. He accompanies his performance with an instrument indelibly Appalachian, yet conquers even the most urban of musical communities. He does it without losing that remarkable gift for true storytelling.”
Musical Style: American Folk