August 15, 2012
Come see David Massengill perform at Johnny D's! As distinctive a performer as he is a writer, David Massengill accompanies himself mainly on the Appalachian dulcimer, which he slings over his shoulder like an electric guitar. The sound of the dulcimer has an intimate, detailed quality that complements the easy graciousness of Massengill’s stage presence. He has achieved a virtuousity on the traditional instrument that enables him to wring from its few strings music of a complexity and richness far beyond anything it was ever meant to produce, drawing the listener in to his lyrical imagery and the close-up focus on human foibles and experience that is the substance of his best songs. Jesus escapes from a mental hospital, history’s greatest villains gather for a dinner party, a New York restaurant kitchen crew saves an illegal alien cook from the immigration man, a young woman and a bandit fall in love as he robs her … these are just some of the vividly imagined scenes and characters with which David Massengill captivates audiences wherever he performs. Massengill’s songs are rich with insight and poetic imagery, they’re upbeat and engaging but full of subtle complexities; this Appalachian dulcimer player with the soft-edged vocal style and offhand stage presence is acknowledged to be one of America’s finest songwriters.