Thank you for visiting my website. I hope all is going well with you, wherever you’re reading this in our big old world. It must be said, though, that one thing our world doesn’t need is another website! However, here’s some background biographical information for your interest, compiled by the American writer and journalist Charles Strohmer. Never a dull moment!
After a childhood filled with sacred classical music as a choral scholar at Peterborough Cathedral, David taught himself to play guitar and then played for local bands while still at The Kings School, Peterborough. Following his studies in ceramics, music and education at college in Chichester, he signed his first record deal with the Red Bus/EMI music label in a folk duo. His second record deal was with PVK records, where at the signing ceremony he was introduced to legendary blues guitarist Peter Green (from Fleetwood Mac), who was by then pursuing a solo career, and had also signed with PVK. A lunch to remember!
After busy and productive periods with Red Bus/EMI and PVK, playing guitar, piano, and touring and recording, David joined Indie rock band Sensible Jerseys and moved to London. Early in the band’s career they were championed by BBC broadcasting legend John Peel and eventually signed with Virgin records. When the band members went their separate ways, David was invited to play guitar for WEA/East West Records singer-songwriter Tanita Tikaram, recording and touring with her across Europe, Scandinavia and the USA. Following this, he toured Europe playing with the Irish jazz/blues artist Mary Coughlan.
In the early 1990s, David played for EMI artist Steve Booker, recording a BASF award-winning CD, and touring Europe, opening for acts such as Bob Geldof, Suzanne Vega, Clannad, and Steve Earle & the Dukes. During this period, David met Steve Booker’s producer, Andy Piercy, former lead singer of the British rock band After The Fire. Andy and David discovered a shared a vision and passion for new directions in liturgical and sacred music. They soon began writing contemporary sacred music together, also playing for the music team at their local church, Holy Trinity Brompton. When not busy with sessions and production projects, the two met at Andy’s flat in Notting Hill Gate to write, record and produce new songs. This creative period resulted in two ground-breaking albums of their time: ‘Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow’ and ‘Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs.’
During the ’90s and early 2000s, David recorded and toured with Virgin Records artist Julia Fordham, playing Japan, the Far East, Europe and the USA. Of this period, David has said that ‘recording Julia’s “East West” album, which was produced by Michael Brook and recorded in Hollywood’s legendary Ocean Way studios, was a particular highlight of those years.’ Another high point was the year 1997, when Julia and David toured with Sarah McLachlan on the Lilith Fair concert tour, followed by opening dates on Sheryl Crow’s world tour. On Julia’s next tour of Japan, they were very honoured that Eric Clapton came to one of their shows, and then invited him and Julia Fordham to his concert at Budokan stadium. We are not worthy!
In 2005 and 2008, David worked in South Devon on the creation of electronica albums ‘Pulse’ and ‘Flight’ with Mr. Don (John Donaldson). On the co-writing front, in 2009 David enjoyed the rustic surroundings of a 16th-century barn-studio in Surrey, the location for writing and recording with Grammy award-winning producer Kipper (John Eldridge) for Esther Alexander’s ‘Long Way Home’ album. He also collaborated on several occasions with singer-songwriter Judy Tzuke, who in 2018 joined with Julia Fordham and Beverley Craven to record and embark on their hugely successful and exciting ‘Woman to Woman’ touring adventure.
In November 2009, David crossed the Pond, moving to Knoxville, Tennessee, to accept the invitation as director of worship and creative arts at Apostles Anglican. Having swapped hearing English accents for American ones every day has gone well for David.
‘It’s lovely being in Knoxville,’ he has said. ‘It’s a great music city. I still fly back to England regularly to see family and friends, and to record and play. But living in the States has given me time to write and record some of my own solo projects and reconnect with American musician friends in Nashville and Los Angeles, and work on projects with them. It has also including giving birth to new material co-written with Phil Keaggy and Phil Madeira amongst other musician friends. I also learned Appalachian claw-hammer banjo with East Tennessee’s very own banjo genius Matt Morelock. As I often say, never a dull moment! I’m also keeping up with making pottery and ceramics when time allows. Mucking about with mud, basically!’
* The long awaited string quintet and piano project, ‘Fruit of the Spirit’ is here! Released 9 September 2019, on CD, digital download and streaming. Limited edition Vinyl version available in late October. Pre-release orders for the vinyl version can be made from 19 September 2019 at the Little Room store.
* Two CDs. ‘Improvisational Duets with Guitar,’ Vol. 1, David Clifton and George Middlebrooks (2017), performed live at the Pilot Light, Knoxville. And ‘The Unintended Consequences of Architecture’ (2018), ambient abstract guitar instrumentals.
Up-coming Recording Projects
* Working with Charlotte Smith, producing her album of traditional English folk songs. In the mixing stages now, and sounding fabulous! Tentative title: The Tree In The Wood.
* Folk and acoustic songs, with the help of Scott Minor at his vintage Wild Chorus studio, using a restored vintage MCI tape machine and original vintage outboard effects equipment, a Neve desk, and utilising CLASP recording technology. This project will showcase new acoustic/folk/band songs.
* Modern liturgical sacred music. Recorded live at 5th Avenue in Knoxville, with Will Reagan engineering and co-producing the tracking sessions. Work continues on this project with Ben McAmis on the mixing sessions. Overdubs and edits are taking place during the year, prior to an announcement of the release date.
Session work over the years has included work with artists Julia Fordham, Steve Booker, Madness, Pele, Mickey Harte, Paul Heaton, Tanita Tikaram, Helen Watson, Delirious, Matt Redman, Pele, Sheila Walsh, Robin Mark, Graham Kendrick, Paul Wilbur, The Woodthieves, Kim Hill, and many others.
Record Label: Little Room Recordings.
Music Publishing: IQ Music Ltd. London and Liverpool, England, UK
Little Room Music: Administered by IQ Music Ltd. / Wixen Music USA