Dave Matthews Band

  • Rock band formed in 1991 from Charlottesville Virginia. The founding members were Dave Matthews (guitar, vocals, songwriting), Stefan Lessard (bass guitar), Carter Beauford (drums, backing vocals), Boyd Tinsley (violin, backing vocals), Peter Geisar (keyboards) and LeRoi Moore (saxophone).
  • Dave Matthews learned to play the guitar when he was 9 years old, but he didn’t show interest in performing until he was 19 years old, after moving to Charlottesville to be with his mother. While working as a bartender, he met a lawyer in 1990 who encouraged him to make a demo of some songs that Matthews had written. He approached local jazz musicians Beauford and Moore about their help in supporting Matthews in and out of the studio, and they agreed after hearing the demos in 1991. They started to work on the 4 songs that Matthews had written. They sounded awful together, but they decided to continue by adding more instrumentation. Lessard and Geisar joined, and Tinsley joined in 1992 when they wanted to add a fiddle to one of their songs.
  • Their first public show was in March 1991. They began to perform weekly, and word of them spread locally. They needed a name, and they considered Dumwelah, a Bantu word meaning “Hello,” but that was discarded. With performances pending, Tinsley made a poster for shows that said “Dave Matthews Band,” and it stuck. Matthews and the other band members agreed that despite the name, it was a group of equals – Matthews was not the leader of the band per se.
  • Sensing that the band could make it big, Geisar left in early 1993, not interested in the grind of rock & roll. They continued without a keyboardist, and soon they were signed to a independent record label. In November 1993, they released a live album, Remember Two Things. It debuted on the college charts, and it subsequently was re-released in 1997, ultimately selling over 1 million copies. Encouraged with their growing popularity, they released a live EP titled Recently in May 1994.
  • That year, they signed with a major record label, and their debut studio album, Under the Table and Dreaming, was released in September 1994. Three songs charted on Alternative Songs charts – What Would You Say, Ants Marching and Satellite, and as the band became more popular, they sold more copies of their debut album – it ultimately was certified 6x platinum. What Would You Say earned 2 Grammy nominations
  • Their follow-up studio album, Crash, became their biggest seller in the U.S. Released in 1996, it was certified 7x platinum, and it reached #2 on the Billboard 200 album chart. It contained 5 hit singles, including Too Much (#1 on the Adult Alternative Songs chart), So Much To Say (#3) and Crash Into Me (#2). So Much To Say earned them a Grammy award win, for Best Rock Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group – the band has had 14 Grammy nominations over the years.
  • At this point, Dave Matthews Band was one of the most popular rock bands in the world. Recognizing that they were immensely popular as a live band, they released 5 live albums between 1997 and 2003 – all were certified platinum or 2x platinum. Their 1998 studio album Before These Crowded Streets showed some style changes for the band, as they incorporated a gospel song and a love ballad on the album. The album was a huge success, topping the Billboard 200 and selling more than 21 million copies worldwide. The singles Don’t Drink the Water and Stay both topped the Adult Alternative Songs chart, and Crush peaked at #3, and was their first song to chart on the Hot 100.
  • They continued their run of platinum selling albums in the 00s – all 4 albums released during the decade were certified, and all topped the Billboard 200 album chart. They had 5 more #1 hits on the Adult Alternative chart, and 6 more singles in the top 5, with American Baby reaching #16 on the Hot 100, their highest peak on that chart. Matthews himself released a solo album in 2003, titled Some Devil. It included the single Gravedigger, which won the Grammy award for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance.
  • In June 2008, saxophonist LeRoi Moore was injured in an ATV accident. He was expected to recover fully, but complication arose, and he died in August that year. Despite his death, the band continued with their concert tour that year, with Jeff Coffin replacing Moore.
  • DMB remained active during the 10s, with frequent concert tours, 2 studio albums (both #1 on the album chart), 6 more live albums, and 50 download-only concert recordings (the number of concert recordings and live albums released in their career approaches 100). They are very engaged with their fans, utilizing social media to stay connected. Periodically, they have had their own channel on Sirius XM radio – a sure sign of stardom. As they approach 30 years as a musical act, they continue to be rock and roll legends.
  • My favorite – Crash Into Me. Here’s the video. Enjoy!

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