Dave Matthews Band

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Essential Albums

  • Crash
  • Under the Table and Dreaming

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About Dave Matthews Band

Dave Matthews Band’s famously epic concerts contain the secret to their equally abiding career: an ever-shifting mix of jazz experimentation, funk groove, bluegrass folksiness, and indie-rock earnestness that promises satisfaction for both passing fans who want to sing along to a heartfelt hook and diehards who will stick around for the virtuosic third encore. Formed in Charlottesville, Virginia, in the early '90s, the group began with an unusual lineup—LeRoi Moore on saxophone, Boyd Tinsley on violin, Stefan Lessard on bass, Carter Beauford on drums, and Matthews on voice and guitar. After conquering their hometown's frat and bar scenes, the band hit the jam circuit pioneered by fellow travelers Phish to fill the improv-rock void left by the Grateful Dead's 1995 exit. But DMB eschewed the blues-rock bluster and prog whimsy of their peers, instead delivering easy-sounding but existentially seeking singles like "What Would You Say" and "Ants Marching," not to mention bedroom fare like "Crash Into Me." From their 1994 debut Under the Table and Dreaming on through the 2000s, the group enjoyed a hit streak that saw seven studio albums and six live albums go platinum. Meanwhile, DMB's onstage alchemy transformed Matthews' often dark ruminations—songs about colonialism, apartheid, and environmentalism—into celebratory and musically ambitious arena-galvanizers, such that between 2000 and 2010, they grossed more on the road than any other band. Moore's sudden demise in 2008 inspired DMB's funkiest release, the festively cathartic Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King. The subsequent addition of more brass and electric guitarist Tim Reynolds made DMB an even richer live proposition, albeit one with increasingly rare studio albums. But 2018's downright optimistic Come Tomorrow confirmed that DMB continue to perform masterfully whether under dark days or sunny skies.

Charlottesville, VA, United States

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