Nite: From hot dogs to DMB
Dave Matthews and friends set to play the V
not for the want of a hot dog, it’s quite possible we would never have
heard the lyric, “You come crash into me, and I come into you.”
it is, Dave Matthews did have a hankering for a hot dog, while at Pink’s
in Hollywood. While he sat and ate his dog, legend (or more fittingly,
rumor) has it, a Paul Williams song played over the speakers. It was
then that Matthews realized that music was life.
Dave Matthews Band, which started up in Virginia in the early ’90s,
gained fame the jam-band way: touring relentlessly, focusing mostly on
college campuses and sharing the stage with established bands such as
there was always something a little different about the Dave Matthews
Band. Though DMB shared a similar attraction to improvisation and jams
with other jam bands, they had this underlying pop sound which would
eventually allow them to break through the radio shell.
has been described as a cross between a more pop-sounding Grateful Dead
and the worldly beats of Paul Simon.
B behind the DM is the reason for this unique, popular sound. This
quintet is much more than a one-man show. Matthews might be the source
of the lyrics and the initiator of most of the songs, but DMB tunes
establish themselves as unique thanks to Boyd Tinsley’s fiddle, Leroi
Moore’s saxophone, Steffan Lessard’s bass and Carter Beauford’s drums.
Add Matthews’ impressive songwriting, his at times painfully high,
soulful voice to the mix and what you have is something magical.
helps that DMB are masters at being a band. It’s one thing to nail a
song in a studio after 30 or so takes. But to perfectly gel all these
musicians — and their instruments — into a tightly wrapped song on stage
takes effort, dedication and pure talent.
have released several albums, including their 1994 major-label debut,
Under the Table and Dreaming, which included the hit single, “What Would
2003, Matthews released his first solo album, Some Devil, which featured
some of Matthews’ musical friends, including Phish’s Trey Anastasio, as
well as longtime Matthews collaborator Tim Reynolds. The blue tone of
the album cover matched perfectly with the tracks on the CD. At the time
of the album Matthews was living in Seattle, and perhaps the rainy
weather really got to him, because the results of Some Devil were
primarily somber, haunting songs, including “Gravedigger,” which earned
Matthews the Grammy Award for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance.
DMB’s most recent album releases are Stand Up and Weekend on the Rocks,
which features all four 2005 DMB concerts at Red Rocks (Sept. 9 through
Sept. 12) in Colorado.