Dave Matthews Band

DMB Official Website

By Patrick Gosnell

WHEN: 1991-present

CULPRITS: Dave Matthews (vocals, guitar), Carter Beauford (drums), Boyd Tinsley (violin), Stefan Lessard (bass) / Former Members: LeRoi Moore (sax)

ALBUMS: Remember Two Things (1993); Under the Table and Dreaming (1994); Crash (1996); Before These Crowded Streets (1998); The Lillywhite Sessions (2001); Everyday (2001); Busted Stuff (2002); Stand Up (2005); Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King (2009); numerous live albums

HOW: My friends introduced me to DMB in high school.  The first album I remember was Crash, but when Before These Crowded Streets came out, that’s when I really became hooked.  I listened to that album pretty much every day for an entire year!

WHY: Initially, it was just Carter Beauford’s insane drumming (please watch this!) that got me hooked on DMB.  But it was their musicianship and ability to feed off one another (especially in their epic live shows) that propelled them to the top of my favorite bands list.  You just feel good listening to a DMB record!  Their knack for creating instant hooks is balanced by their deft improvisation and ability to fluidly switch between musical styles.  It was seeing them perform live three summers in a row (1996, 97, 98) that made me a fan for life.

SONGS: I know that with extremely popular bands the tendency will be for people to say, “Hey, what about such-and-such?”  So let me start by listing a few phenomenal tracks that didn’t make the cut.  The most obvious omission might be Crash, but let’s face it – we’ve all heard it a million times.  I chose to fill in the requisite love ballad spot with an sweet and smooth version of Lover Lay Down from Live at Red Rocks: 8-15-95.  Two other songs from that album worth noting are Seek Up and Lie In Our GravesTwo Step is another DMB staple that is not on the list, but mainly because all of the incredible live versions of this song would take up way too much room on an 80-minute CD.  I personally recommend the version off of Live at Piedmont Park.  I did not choose DMB’s cover (and perennial show-closer) of All Along the Watchtower simply because it’s not an original DMB tune.  While there are probably 8,427 different versions out there, I recommend the one from Live In Chicago: 12-19-98.  And last but not least, Shake Me Like a Monkey from the band’s latest, Big Whiskey & the GrooGrux King.  This track was too great to not mention, and I believe best represents what a post-LeRoi-Moore-DMB song can sound like.

As for the songs that actually made my list, I focused more on the flow of the songs together rather than any sort of chronological order.  What Would You Say, Tripping Billies and Ants Marching are all there to represent the classic-DMB sound.  “#41andRapunzel showcase the band’s musicality and rhythm.  Christmas Song and The Idea of Youcapture the intimacy and energy (respectively) of a DMB live show.  And the sheer power of Dave Matthews and crew are fully represented by the new song, Squirm, and the fan-favorite,Bartender.

LINK: Click on the list below to see the 80MFL iMix, where you can listen to samples, download what sounds good, or get the whole thing!

Click image for the DMB iMix

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~ by Patrick Gosnell on August 12, 2009.

4 Responses to “Dave Matthews Band”

  1. I have to comment, as this is my all-time favorite band. I’ve seen them live 8 times now and every time they surprise me in new ways. They are incredible.

    We both know you could fill an 80-minute list with just three or four of their live songs (including the 21-minute version of #41 from Warehouse 5, Volume 1)!

    My list would include some of your same choices – Grey Street, #41, Everyday, Ants, American Baby, and Bartender. I would also submit Crush (my fave version also from Warehouse 5, Volume 1…second fave being Dave & Tim at Radio City)…DDTW (Central Park)…Two Step would make my 80-min version…and Nancies.

    Great website. I look forward to discovering some new music!

  2. Thanks, Sarah! I wanted to get “Crush” on there so bad, but I would have had to drop at least 2 songs from the list. Tough decisions…

    I know there’s a lot of hard-core DMB fans out there, so I’m completely open to everyone’s feedback. Maybe there should be a couple 80MFL mixes for DMB’s live recordings, eh?

    Thanks for contributing, and please keep checking in.

  3. Follow the link to watch the new video Why I Am and 33 other videos by Dave and the crew. There are also tons of other artist videos. Peace

    http://music.com/video/Dave%20Matthews%20Band/Why%20I%20Am/33656394001

  4. With this being my favorite band, I must leave a comment here. I think your list is very good, but I would definitely make a few amendments. My list would definitely have Why I Am, Tripping Billies, Grey Street, #41, Christmas Song, Rapunzel (except mine would have Pantala Naga Pampa intro), The Idea of You, Ants Marching, and Bartender.

    I would have to also include The Dreaming Tree, Recently, Raven, Proudest Monkey, and I’ll Back You Up.

    Recently and I’ll Back you up give the listener a great view into the early days of DMB. I’ll Back You Up was one of the songs that got the band together and I think everyone that listens to them should know about it. Recently has that early sound to it and gives you a great picture of the guys having fun together.

    Proudest Monkey (from Fenway Park) is a smooth jam that shows an easy, yet amazing side of the band. The Dreaming Tree is a deep song that is great to sit back and just listen to.

    I think most fans would agree with about half of everyone else’s “must listen” list and then have to add their own in as well. We could also argue over which version gives the most accurate sound of the song. But in the end, I think you need to just commit to listening to an entire live album and if you are not hooked after that, I don’t think you will ever be a fan.

    I can’t wait to find new music and talk about more of my favorite bands on this site guys! Great idea!

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