The Dave Matthews Band formed in Charlottesville, Virginia, in early 1991, when vocalist/guitarist Dave Matthews decided to put some songs he had written on tape. Instead of simply recording himself with a guitar, he opted to bring in some instrumental help to give his musical ideas more depth. Dave found assistance in drummer Carter Beauford and saxophonist LeRoi Moore, who were both accomplished jazz musicians in the local Charlottesville music scene. Based on the recommendation of distinguished local jazz guru John D'earth, 16-year-old musical prodigy Stefan Lessard came on board to play bass. Completing the band was keyboard player Peter Griesar, who left the band after a couple of years, as well as the talented and classically trained violinist, Boyd Tinsley.
The first official gig for the newly conceived Dave Matthews Band was May 11, 1991, at a private rooftop party in Charlottesville. Its first public show was at the city's 1991 Earth Day Festival. Local weekly gigs soon followed, and within a little time, word of the band's contagious new sound spread like wildfire throughout the region. Clubs started to fill up, tours began to cover more territory, and the fan base grew at an incredible rate.
On November 9, 1993, DMB released its first album, Remember Two Things, on its Bama Rags label. The album was recorded live at The Muse Music Club on Nantucket Island, in August of 1993. The album debuted on College charts as the highest independent entry, and went on to be certified gold by the RIAA -- a significant accomplishment for an independent album. Meanwhile, the band kept touring and its fan base continued to grow. By allowing fans to tape shows for their personal use, DMB created a highly interactive community that continues in spirit today.
During the first part of 1994, Dave Matthews Band recorded its RCA debut, Under The Table and Dreaming. Just before the album's release on September 27, 1994, Dave Matthews Band hit the road for their first official national tour. The tour lasted well over a year and included sold out theater dates across the country, a trip to Europe, and two summers playing on the main stage of HORDE. By the fall of 1995, when the band returned to the studio to record its next album, Under The Table and Dreaming had been certified four times platinum by the RIAA.
Crash, Dave Matthews Band's second album for RCA, was released on April 30, 1996, and debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 chart. The band continued with a steady schedule of touring throughout 1997, headlining sold-out amphitheater dates across North America. DMB, though elevated to the level of national pop stardom, continued to do things precisely as it had from day one: organically, with a grass roots mentality.
On October 28, 1997, Bama Rags/RCA label released an official double-disc live Dave Matthews Band album, entitled Live at Red Rocks 8-15-95. Without any marketing or promotion, Live at Red Rocks debuted at number three on the Billboard 200 chart and was instantly certified platinum. The album provided fans with a high quality and reasonably priced alternative to the over-priced, ill produced, and illegal live DMB CDs that were beginning to flood the bootleg black-market. The overwhelming success of Live at Red Rocks, combined with the band's tremendous touring achievements, proved that Dave Matthews Band had grown from a grass roots phenomenon to one of the hottest bands in America.
On April 28, 1998, RCA released Dave Matthews Band's third studio album, Before These Crowded Streets. The critically acclaimed recording debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart; it was the band's strongest debut to date. DMB spent the following year and a half on the road, selling out stadiums, arenas, and amphitheaters across the country.
On January 19, 1999, Bama Rags/RCA released Live at Luther College: An Acoustic Performance by Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds. Tim Reynolds was a guest guitarist on all of the Dave Matthews Band albums, and toured with the band as a guest musician. Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds toured as an acoustic duo during the winters of '96, '97, and '99. The second in a series of live Dave Matthews Band-related releases, Live at Luther College debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 chart and has since been certified platinum by the RIAA . As with Live at Red Rocks, the success of this second live album was based solely on word-of-mouth buzz.
The third installment in this ongoing live album series, Listener Supported, was released by Bama Rags/RCA on November 23, 1999. The album was recorded live at New Jersey's Continental Airlines Arena in September 1999, and a video of the performance, also titled Listener Supported, was released at the same time. The double-disc album was quickly certified double platinum, and the video has sold over a million copies as well.
The band spent much of 2000 on tour, finishing as the top-grossing touring band in the U.S. In the fall, Dave Matthews joined legendary producer Glen Ballard in Los Angeles to fine-tune song arrangements for a new album, and the pair wound up co-writing 12 new songs in a matter of days. From this explosion of creative chemistry came the band's new album, Everyday, released February 27, 2001. Matthews played electric guitar for the first time, and Ballard helped the band focus and tighten their arrangements, resulting in the phenomenal success of Everyday, which has since gone triple platinum.
DMB spent the summer of 2001 touring the country and exposing sold-out audiences to songs from Everyday. On August 21, Dave Matthews Band, The Videos 1994-2001, was released on DVD and VHS. For the first time, the entire collection of Dave Matthews Band videos (the first 12) was presented together, along with director commentary and behind the scenes footage.
On October 23, 2001, the band released it's fourth live release, Live In Chicago, 12.19.98, featuring guest musicians such as Victor Wooten, Maceo Parker, and a full set with Tim Reynolds.
The band regrouped in January 2002 at the familiar Plant Studios in Sausalito, CA where they had recorded their 3rd RCA release Before These Crowded Streets. The band revisited tracks they had previously written and recorded in 2000 and collaborated on a couple of new tunes that had debuted in recent months. The resultant creation, Busted Stuff, was made available July 16th, 2002. Busted Stuff is a landmark record for DMB; for the first time ever, this album is without any musical guests. Included on the album are road-tested fan favorites such as "Bartender", "Grey Street", "Where Are You Going", and "Grace Is Gone".
Following a successful tour throughout the US in Summer 2002, Dave Matthews Band released Live At Folsom Field, Boulder CO, the band's 5th live release overall. This double CD / DVD / VHS from the band's 7/11/01 performance, contains first ever live versions of songs from Everyday and Busted Stuff, such as "When The World Ends," "So Right," "What You Are," "If I Had It All," "Angel," "The Space Between," "Everyday" "Big Eyed Fish," "Digging A Ditch," and "Bartender." The DVD utilizes footage taken from 22 cameras, is recorded in 5.1 surround sound, and presents the finest audio quality of any DMB live release to date. A short tour in several US cities in December of 2002 was highlighted by 2 sold out performances at Madison Square Garden. On 12/21 at MSG, to the surprise and delight of the audience, Dave Matthews Band was joined on stage by James Brown.
The band's 2003 summer tour culminated with a performance in front of an estimated crowd of in excess of 100,000 fans. The concert helped raise $2 Million for public education and the parks. In November 2003 The Central Park concert was released on DVD and CD. Captured by 30 cameras in High Definition Widescreen video and recorded in stereo and 5.1 audio, the DVD was directed by Larry Jordan, who worked with the band previously on their Listener Supported.
Summer/Fall 2003 also saw the release of the first solo projects from DMB with the release of Boyd's True Reflections and Dave's Some Devil. The first single off of Some Devil, entitled "Gravedigger," earned Dave a Grammy Award for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance.
Dave Matthews began a tour in December 2003 to promote his album Some Devil. Dubbed "Dave Matthews and Friends" tour, Dave's "Friends" included: Trey Anastasio, Brady Blade, Tony Hall, Ray Paczkowski and Tim Reynolds. Emmylou Harris and Spyboy were special guests on the tour. The 12-date tour began in PA and ended in CA in January 04.
Spring of 04 found DMB at home in their VA studio rehearsing for the summer 04 tour and beginning to mold some new tunes for their forthcoming studio album.
DMB's Summer Tour 04 proved to be another stream of dynamite concert performances. New songs such as "Hello Again", "Sugar Will" and "Joy Ride" joined older favorites on the setlists. Days after the summer tour ended, DMB played in front of thousands of fans at a "Concert to Benefit Bay Area Charities" in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park.
In the first few days of October, Dave Matthews Band joined forces with many other musicians on the Vote for Change Tour. Presented by MoveOn PAC, all proceeds from the tour benefited American Coming Together (ACT). The Vote for Change Tour was a multi-city, multi-artist tour that included 37 shows in 33 cities in 12 states over 11 days and featured artists such as Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals, Bonnie Raitt, Pearl Jam, REM and more.
DMB Live Trax, a highly anticipated series of exclusive live releases, made its debut in the early fall. 12.8.98 Centrum, Worcester, MA was the first release and shortly thereafter, 9.12.04 Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA became the second live release in the new series.
Dave Matthews Band returned to the studio in the fall of 2004 and continued to shape their next album. Mark Batson, a well-known producer who met DMB in August after their LA show, was asked by DMB to come to VA and help produce the album.
In early 2005, Dave Matthews Band launched a website devoted to their new studio album.
--- from the official Dave Matthews Band website