Bartender (Dave Matthews Band song)
|Song by Dave Matthews Band from the album Busted Stuff|
|Released||July 16, 2002|
|Writer||David J. Matthews|
|Composer||David J. Matthews|
|Busted Stuff track listing|
"Bartender" is one of Dave Matthews Band's most popular live songs, featured on their studio album Busted Stuff. The song was one of the many that carried over from the near-abandoned project that is The Lillywhite Sessions. If The Lillywhite Sessions album is considered a Dave Matthews Band studio album, then "Bartender" is the longest Dave Matthews Band song recorded, and the only one over ten minutes.
The song is about a man who, while talking to a bartender, deals with thoughts of his own death. In an interview with the Rocky Mountain News, Matthews said he liked the concept of a bartender as a God/Jesus figure to which to confess and get absolution. The man talks to his family, telling them not to have certain feelings about him if he goes before his time. Fittingly, "Bartender" was the first song performed by the band after the August 2008 death of saxophonist LeRoi Moore.
Structurally, the song starts with a single note introduction before moving into the lyrical section with march-style drumming by Carter Beauford. After the lyrics finish, the song begins an extended jam session beginning with a loud climax featuring emotional, improvised vocals by Dave Matthews. It then decrescendos into a pennywhistle solo/outro, into which both Moore and his successor, Jeff Coffin, have interpolated songs such as "If I Only Had a Brain" (as heard on Live Trax Vol. 6).
This musical sample includes pleas to the Bartender and an instrumental interlude.
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