Dave Matthews In-depth Biography
The South African vocalist/guitarist Dave Matthews} formed the Dave Matthews Band} in Virginia in the early '90s. Featuring Matthews}, Stefan Lessard}, Leroi Moore}, Boyd Tinsley}, and Carter Beauford}, the group's music presents a more pop}-oriented version of the Grateful Dead} crossed with the worldbeat} explorations of Paul Simon} and Sting}. The band built up a strong word-of-mouth following in the early '90s by touring the country constantly, concentrating on college campuses. In addition to amassing a sizable following, their self-released album Remember Two Things} sold well for an independent release; soon, they were attracting the attention of majors. Signing with RCA}, the Dave Matthews Band} released their major-label debut, Under the Table and Dreaming}, in the fall of 1994. By spring of 1995, the record had launched the hit single "What Would You Say"} and sold over a million copies.
A year and a half after the release of Under the Table and Dreaming}, the record had sold over four million copies in the U.S. alone. In April of 1996, the Dave Matthews Band} released Crash}, which entered the charts at number two and quickly went platinum. Throughout 1996, the group toured behind Crash}, sending it to double-platinum status. Also in 1996, Matthews} launched an attack on bootleggers in conjunction with the Federal Government, targeting stores that were selling semi-legal discs of live performances. The efforts of Matthews}, his band, and his management resulted in an unprecedented crackdown on bootleggers in early 1997 -- with nearly all of the major foreign bootlegging companies placed under arrest by the United States -- thereby putting a moratorium on the entire underground industry.
To further combat the bootleggers, Dave Matthews} released an official double-disc live album, Live at Red Rocks 8.15.95}, in the fall of 1997. It was an unexpected success, debuting at number three on the charts and selling a million copies within the first five months of its release. The live record paved the way for the April 1998 release of Before These Crowded Streets}, the group's most ambitious album to date. Another live effort, Listener Supported}, followed a year later. Summer tours also packed the late '90s, with sold-out shows across the U.S. The new millennium, however, saw the band back in the studio with Glen Ballard} to record its fourth studio album -- Everyday}, issued in February 2001. Although popular, it was overshadowed by rumors of a darker album recorded with Steve Lillywhite} in 2000 but ultimately rejected; the band eventually chose songs from the session, did some re-recording of others, and released the results as in July 2002 as Busted Stuff}. Its debut single, "Where Are You Going,"} was also featured on the soundtrack} to the Adam Sandler} flick Mr. Deeds}.
In 2003, Matthews} released his first solo album, the moody and brooding Some Devil}. A "Dave Matthews} and Friends" tour followed -- his "friends" being Trey Anastasio}, Brady Blade}, Tony Hall}, Ray Paczkowski}, and Tim Reynolds} -- and the album's single, "Gravedigger,"} earned Matthews} the Grammy Award for Best Male Rock} Vocal Performance. The Dave Matthews Band} was back on the road in 2004, and also released more live material. They also joined Bruce Springsteen}'s Vote for Change} tour toward the end of the year, just as their mail-order-only DMB Live Trax} series debuted. In early 2005, they launched a website that featured progress reports on their next album in the form of video footage, diaries, and soundbites. When the flawed Stand Up} finally appeared in May, it was the band's first album of all-new material since 2001's Everyday}. Weekend on the Rocks}, another live set, followed Stand Up} at the end of the year. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide