Based in the Southern Highlands of NSW, David mainly performs either solo or with Paddys River Band. He also reaches out to Sydney and Canberra to play with FolkLines, Southern Cross and the Heritage Ensemble.
Making Australian music available to musicians and singers is key to maintaining its ongoing performance. The Bush Dance folio (1984) established David's reputation and many publication have followed on, providing access to a wealth of material, much of which is freely available for download.
Dave's recordings are relatively sparse but there are some of performances and some recorded in studios and some home-recorded. The songs assembled for the CD Rough Sawn feature him multitracked on vocals, guitar, banjo, fiddle, mandolin, concertina and bass.
Perhaps inspired by a new sound-post cut and fitted to his fiddle or by a need for a tune for a bush dance, or just evolving from the buttons of the concertina, new tunes happen and beg to be written down. And a family tradition of writing tunes as gifts has flourished.
For the last ten years the National Folk Festival Bush Orchestra has featured David's arrangements of bush dance tunes in multiple parts. Participants have taken them back to their local groups and performed and recorded them. The arrangements can be found here.
The musical repertoire for social dance in Australia has never been static. Currently popular tunes were added to the repertoire without hesitation. To ensure an ongoing rich tradition David encourages the writing of new tunes that are rooted in the tradition.
Music playing is a pastime best explored socially. Of course players need to put in the time to develop their own skills but playing with other musicians allows the music to gain a social depth, with mutual encouragement and genuine camaraderie.
To this end David coordinates sessions in Goulburn and in Bundanoon.