After a childhood filled with music as a choral scholar at Peterborough Cathedral, and studies in art, ceramics and education at college, David Clifton signed first to Red Bus/EMI music, then to PVK records with soul/folk singer Harvey Morgan in Indian Summer, joining blues legend Peter Green who was also signed to the label. A few years later, an invitation to join indie rock band Sensible Jerseys resulted in a move to London. The band were championed by broadcasting legend John Peel, and were played regularly on his show and on Radio 1. They subsequently signed with Virgin records. Following this indie sojourn, David went on to play for WEA/East West singer songwriter Tanita Tikaram, recording and touring Europe and the USA with her. This was followed by European tours, radio, TV and promotion work playing guitar for the Irish jazz/blues artist Mary Coughlan.
In the early 1990’s he worked with EMI artist Steve Booker, recording a BASF award winning CD with him and touring extensively throughout Europe, opening for acts such as Bob Geldof, Suzanne Vega, Clannad, Steve Earle and the Dukes amongst others.
Whilst preparing for this project, David was introduced to one of Steve’s producers, Andy Piercy, former lead singer of After The Fire. This led to a writing partnership developing contemporary sacred music and working with the music team at their local church, Holy Trinity Brompton. When not busy with music and production work, they began meeting regularly at Andy’s house in Notting Hill Gate to write, and then David’s home in Covent Garden to record and produce the new songs. This resulted in two ground-breaking albums of their time; ‘Praise God from whom all blessings flow’ and ‘Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs’, incorporating traditional Liturgy and Sacred texts into a modern musical context.
During the early 90’s and through 2000 he recorded and toured with Virgin Records artist Julia Fordham, playing Japan, the Far East, Europe and the USA, touring with Sarah McLachlan on the Lilleth Fair events, and playing USA dates on Sheryl Crow’s world tour.
The rustic surroundings of a 16th century barn studio in Surrey were the location for writing and recording with Grammy award-winning producer Kipper for Esther Alexander’s ‘Long Way Home’ album. Late 2011 saw the completion of his first Hollywood ‘B Movie’ film soundtrack, and this has lead to more advertising and short film work. Songwriting trips to Nashville have given birth to new material co-written with Phil Keaggy and Phil Madeira. More recently he has been taking time out to write and record his own projects, and enjoying collaborative work with other international artists. You can hear the fruit of this work over the years in the Katie Targett Adams production ‘Hush’, the electronica albums ‘Pulse’ and ‘Flight’ with Mr. Don and the ‘Live Vol.1’ concert with George Middlebrooks. In downtime he’s been working on all he learned from Appalachian claw-hammer banjo genius Matt Morelock. July 2018 saw the release of a new Ambient Abstract guitar album.
Recording sessions over the years have included work for a variety artists, including Julia Fordham, Pele, Helen Watson, Madness, Micky Hart, Tanita Tikaram, Paul Heaton (Beautiful South), Martin Smith and Delirious (Cutting Edge 1), Matt Redman, Chris de Burgh, Robin Mark, Graham Kendrick and Kim Hill amongst many others.
Several new recording projects are currently underway. Charlotte’s traditional folk song album which David has been producing, is now almost mixed and ready for mastering. The tracking sessions for his own folk/songwriter project were recorded by Scott Minor at his vintage studio in Knoxville Tennessee utilising a restored vintage tape MCI tape machine and original vintage outboard effects equipment, a Neve desk, and CLASP recording technology. Meanwhile work continues with Ben McAmis on the overdubs and harmony sessions. A concurrent project is of sacred music, and was recorded live at 5th Avenue in Knoxville with Will Reagan engineering the live sessions. It will showcase modern Liturgical sacred music. Overdubs and edits are currently taking place. In addition, a string quintet and piano project ‘Fruit Of The Spirit’ was released on the 9th of September and is now available for streaming and downloading on all digital sites, and on CD and 180 gram vinyl format.