Wednesday, January 9, 2008
Happy 41st birthday today to Dave Matthews of the Dave Matthews Band.
Dave is the third of four children born to John and Val Matthews. At age two, Dave's family migrated to Yorktown Heights in Westchester County, New York, where his father, a physicist, went to work for IBM. In 1974 the family again moved to Cambridge, England for a year before returning to New York—where his father died from lung cancer in 1977. The family moved back to South Africa in 1980. Upon Dave's graduation from St Stithians College high school, he faced a requirement by the South African government to put in two years of compulsory military service. Coming from a devoutly Quaker family, military service was not an option. Dave would move to Charlottesville, Virginia, a town Dave's family had lived in before he was born. It was in Charlottesville that he became part of the local music community. Pursuing various interests, Matthews tried his hand on stage, acting in various local productions. While enthusiastic for music, and a popular bartender at a local watering hole called Miller's, Matthews was intimidated by the quality of the local musicians and largely shied away from performing publicly. But local star (and future collaborator) Tim Reynolds finally goaded Matthews to join him on stage one night, and Matthews stunned the audience with his performance. Matthews had originally envisioned someone else singing his songs but instead decided to use his own vocals. Yet after writing his first few songs, including "The Song that Jane Likes" and "Recently", he began to consider starting his own band. Matthews formed The Dave Matthews Band in early 1991 with Boyd Tinsley, LeRoi Moore, Carter Beauford, Stefan Lessard, and Peter Griesar (who left the band a short time later) while he was working as a bartender at Miller's in Charlottesville. The band's first show was on April 20, 1991, at the Earth Day Festival in Charlottesville, Virginia.
On September 20, 1994, DMB released their first LP, Under the Table and Dreaming, featuring their first commercial hits "What Would You Say," (featuring John Popper on harmonica), "Satellite," and "Ants Marching." The album was dedicated "In memory of Anne" for Matthews' older sister Anne, who was killed by her husband in 1994 in a murder-suicide.
Under the Table and Dreaming and its follow-up album, Crash brought the band national attention, culminating in a Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal for "So Much to Say" as well as four other nominations between the years 1996 and 1997. The band also achieved hits with "Crash into Me," "Too Much," and "Tripping Billies."
The band released their second live EP entitled Recently in 1997. The album's five tracks were taken from shows performed at The Birchmere in Alexandria, Virginia; and from Trax back in Charlottesville. This EP featured the first recorded versions of the Bob Dylan classic, "All Along the Watchtower", and the ever popular "Halloween." Recently was released by the band independently in 1994, it was re-released by RCA Records in 1997. The Recently EP followed the independent release of Remember Two Things and preceded Under the Table and Dreaming.
By 1997, DMB reached unparalleled levels of popularity across the country and, to some degree, the world. On October 28, 1997, the band released their first full length live album, Live at Red Rocks 8.15.95. The album, which was recorded at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, Colorado, featured popular songs from the band's first three albums and included longtime collaborator Tim Reynolds on electric guitar.
In late 1997, the band returned to the studio with producer Steve Lillywhite and an array of guest collaborators, including Reynolds, banjoist Béla Fleck, vocalist Alanis Morissette, future permanent keyboardist and unofficial sixth band member Butch Taylor, and the Kronos Quartet. They composed and recorded Before These Crowded Streets, their third album with RCA, which was released on April 28, 1998. The album represented a great change in direction for the band as they did not rely on upbeat hit singles to carry the album. "Stay (Wasting Time)", an uplifting gospel number, and "Crush", a love ballad, became very popular tracks along with the lead single "Don't Drink the Water", which meaning has been debated but has overall been taken to be a very dark song. Dave Matthews has commented, however, that the inspiration for this song came from the treatment of Native Americans by the United States government.
On January 19, 1999, Matthews and Reynolds released the live album, Live at Luther College, from a February 6, 1996, acoustic concert played by Matthews and Reynolds at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. The album features songs mostly from DMB's first two albums, while also featuring the previously unreleased pieces "Deed Is Done" and "Little Thing." Also included on the album is Reynolds' acoustic virtuoso piece "Stream."
During the summer, the band took part in the Woodstock '99 concert and then released their third live album, Listener Supported, in the fall. The album, a live recording, used a show performed at the Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey on September 11, 1999 for a PBS television special. The album was also released as the band's first DVD. The year also provided two more Grammy nominations.
* Remember Two Things
* Under the Table and Dreaming (1994)
* Recently (1994)
* Crash (1996)
* Before These Crowded Streets (1998)
* Everyday (2001)
* Busted Stuff (2002)
* Some Devil solo album feat. Tim Reynolds & Trey Anastasio'(2003)
* Stand Up (2005)
* The Best of What's Around Vol. 1 (2006)
* Remember Two Things (1992)
* Live at Red Rocks 8.15.95 (1995)
* Live in Chicago at the United Center 12.19.98 (1999)
* Live at Luther College (1999) (with Tim Reynolds)
* Listener Supported (1999)
* Live at Folsom Field - Boulder, Colorado (2002)
* The Gorge (2002)
* The Central Park Concert (2003)
* Live at The Centrum, Worcester, MA (2004)
* Live at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco (2004)
* Live at Meadows Music Theatre, Hartford, CT (2004)
* Live at the Classic Ampitheatre, Richmond, VA (2005)
* Live at the Meadow Brook Music Festival, Rochester Hills, MI(2005)
* Weekend on the Rocks (2005)
* Live at Fenway Park, Boston MA (2006)
* Live at the Hamptom Collesium, Hamptom, VA (2006)
* The Best of What's Around, Vol.1 Disc 2 (2006)
* Live at Alpine Valley Music Theatre, East Troy, WI (2004)
* Live at MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas, NV (2007)
* Live at Pavilon Atlantico, Lisbon, Portugal (2007)
* Live at Radio City (2007) (with Tim Reynolds)
* Live at Piedmont Park (2007)
* "Ants Marching" (1998)
* "Stay (Wasting Time)" (1998)
* "Crash Into Me" (1997)
* "So Much To Say" (1999)
* "Too Much" (1999)
* "Don't Drink the Water" (1999)
* "The Space Between" (2001)
* "I Did It" (2001)
* "Gravedigger (2003)
* "Save Me" (2003)
* "Oh" (2004)
* "Eh Hee" (2007)