On to another one of my favourite bands this week. From Idaho and Built to Spill, we travel to the other side of the United States to Charlottesville, Virginia; birthplace of…
Dave Matthews Band
In 1990, Dave Matthews was a bartender in Charlottesville when a friend of his convinced him to record some of the songs he had written onto a demo. Matthews was born in South Africa but spent much of his childhood between there, the USA and England. He approached drummer Carter Beauford and sax player Leroi Moore, who listened to his music and decided they liked it enough to get on board. Matthews loved the way they played from the heart.
They needed a bass player and, on a recommendation, they took on 15 year old Stefan Lessard to complete a demo with them. They liked him so much, he stayed on with the band.
Violinist Boyd Tinsley joined the band last. They wanted a fiddle on one of their songs and his presence really fit the sound.
Since 1990, the Dave Matthews Band has gone on to become a massive hit, racking up 7 awards including a Grammy out of 27 nominations. They’ve shifted over 30 million records and been on sell out tours pretty much every year in the last two decades. They suffered the tragic loss of saxophonist Leroi Moore in an accident in 2008, and there have been other personnel join the band to add their own unique sounds.
Before 1999, I’d never heard of them. In fact, most people I speak to in Britain have never heard of them either. It was on my first visit to Austin, Texas, in 1999, that I wandered into Shakespeare’s Pub on 6th Street in the heat of the early afternoon. I ordered up a cold beer and took a seat in a booth. This is what I heard –
I asked the bartender what it was and he told me the name of the band. I waited until I got home to the UK before I looked them up and bought a few of their albums. I love the sound, I love his vocals, I love the variety of instruments and the long jams. I love the variation in each live performance that highlights different things in songs that you think you’re so familiar with. Since then, I’ve got every studio album they’ve released, lots of live recordings and I’ve seen them live in New York and London.
I’ve even seen Dave on his own a couple of times in London at his acoustic shows. Mrs A is also a fan now. This is her favourite song of theirs…
And here’s a couple more that I like, if you fancy a listen.
Thanks for reading and listening.
If you feel like some more music, then please check out some of my other Monday Music posts. They’re packed with great examples of music from movies, TV and other places.