Dave Matthews

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For other people named David Matthews, see David Matthews (disambiguation).
Dave Matthews
Dave-Matthews-VA.jpg
Matthews at Virginia Tech in 2007
Background information
Birth name David John Matthews
Born (1967-01-09) January 9, 1967 (age 47)
Johannesburg, Transvaal
South Africa
Origin Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S.
Genres Rock, alternative rock, blues rock, roots rock, adult contemporary music
Occupations Songwriter, musician, record label owner
Instruments Vocals, guitar, piano
Years active 1989–present
Labels RCA, Sony
Associated acts Tribe of Heaven, Dave Matthews Band, Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds, Dave Matthews & Friends, The Nauts
Website www.davematthewsband.com

David John "Dave" Matthews (born January 9, 1967)[1] is a South African-born American singer-songwriter, musician and actor,[2] best known as the lead vocalist, songwriter, and guitarist for the Dave Matthews Band. He performs mainly with acoustic guitar and favors rhythm rather than solos in his playing. During the period from 2000 to 2010, his band, the Dave Matthews Band, sold more tickets and earned more money than any other act in North America.[3]

Early life[edit]

David John Matthews was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, the third of four children of parents John and Valerie Matthews. At two years old, Matthews' family moved to Yorktown Heights in Westchester County, New York, where his father, a physicist, started working for IBM.[4]

In 1974, the family moved to Cambridge, England, for a year before returning to New York, where his father died from lung cancer in 1977. Biographer Nevin Martell argues that Dave's father's death may be an impetus for his "carpe diem" lyrics.[5] At some point while residing in New York, Matthews attended his first concert, when his mother took him to a performance by Pete Seeger.[6] The family moved back to Johannesburg, South Africa, in 1977.[7]

Upon Matthews' graduation from St Stithians College high school in 1985, he was faced with conscription into the South African military just as civil disobedience to the practice was becoming widespread.[8] A Quaker (and consequently pacifist), Matthews left South Africa to avoid service.[9]

Matthews moved to New York in 1986 where he worked for IBM for a short time,[7] then joined his mother that same year in Charlottesville, Virginia, a town Matthews' family had lived in before he was born.[7] In Charlottesville, he became part of the local music community, his first known band was a local Speed Metal band called Devastator. They only played a few local shows until breaking up a few months later; reasons have yet to be confirmed.[9] Pursuing various interests, Matthews acted in various local productions.[citation needed] Although Matthews had started playing the guitar at age 9, it was only in Charlottesville that he started performing publicly.[7] From time to time, local star (and future collaborator) Tim Reynolds had Dave join him on stage, and another friend, Ross Hoffman, persuaded Matthews to record some of his own songs.[7][10] This led to his first professional musical gig at a modern dance performance by the Miki Liszt Dance Company, based at McGuffey Art Center in Charlottesville, singing "Meaningful Love", composed by John D'earth and Dawn Thompson.[11] In 1991, he hatched the idea to form his own band.[7]

Dave had originally envisioned someone else singing his songs but decided to use his own vocals.[citation needed] After writing his first few songs, including "I'll Back You Up", "The Song that Jane Likes" and "Recently", he began to consider starting his own band.[citation needed] Matthews formed Dave Matthews Band in early 1991 with LeRoi Moore, Carter Beauford, Stefan Lessard, Peter Griesar (who left the band in 1993), and Boyd Tinsley while working at Miller's. The band's first show was on March 14, 1991, as part of a benefit for the Middle East Children's Alliance at Trax Nightclub in Charlottesville.[12]

In early 1994, Matthews' older sister, Anne, who lived in South Africa, was murdered by her husband, who subsequently committed suicide, on or around January 27 of that year.[13] The event had a drastic effect on Matthews' outlook on life and was referenced in a few of his songs. On January 29, 1994, he performed with Tim Reynolds at The Wetlands in New York, where he dedicated that performance "to her [Anne's] memory". Dave Matthews Band's Under the Table and Dreaming, released later that year, was dedicated to her.[13] Anne Matthews was survived by her two children who, upon her death, traveled to America, where Dave and his younger sister, Jane, took responsibility for their upbringing (his sister is the namesake of DMB's song, "The Song that Jane Likes").[13]

Music[edit]

L to R: Reynolds and Matthews in 2007 performing in Amherst, MA in one of many acoustic shows the two play as a duo.

Matthews focused primarily on songwriting and performances with the Dave Matthews Band from 1990 to 2003. Since that period, he has occasionally ventured outside the band in various solo performances and records. Matthews sang on the track "Sing Along" on Blue Man Group's second album The Complex in 2003.[14] Later that year he released a solo album, "Some Devil", which went platinum; its single, "Gravedigger", won a Grammy Award in 2004.[15] To support the album, Matthews toured with a group of musicians (many of whom performed on "Some Devil") under the name Dave Matthews & Friends.[16][17]

Dave has close friendship with banjoist Béla Fleck,[citation needed] the frontman and namesake of Béla Fleck and the Flecktones, and with whom Matthews appears as guest vocalist on their 1998 release, Left of Cool and both Fleck and the Flecktones' bassist Victor Wooten have made numerous appearances both live and studio with the Dave Matthews Band. Wooten soloed in the second part of the Daniel Lanois song, "The Maker", and also in "#41" on the 1998 live album Live in Chicago. The Flecktones also opened for DMB on several tours.[18] Matthews performed a duet with Emmylou Harris on "My Antonia" on her 2000 album, Red Dirt Girl.[19] They also appeared together on the musical television show CMT Crossroads,[20] where the two performed Matthews' "Gravedigger" and the folk song "Long Black Veil", a song popularized by The Band.[citation needed]

Matthews played a cover of Neil Young's song, "The Needle and the Damage Done" at the 2010 tribute, MusiCares Person of the Year honoring Young on January 29, 2010.[citation needed] The Dave Matthews band opened for The Rolling Stones on their Bridges to Babylon Tour-1997-1998, and Matthews sang "Wild Horses", and "Memory Motel" alongside vocalist Mick Jagger.

Acting[edit]

Before he was known as a musician, Dave Matthews was an amateur actor, appearing onstage in several productions at Charlottesville's Offstage Theatre and Live Arts theater[citation needed] in the early 1990s; the role for which he is best remembered is as a used car salesman in Offstage Theatre's "Just Say No," directed by John Quinn, co-starring Kylie Sicher.[21] He played Will Coleman in the 2003 adaptation of the novel Where the Red Fern Grows.[22] In 2005 he played in Because of Winn-Dixie (film) as Otis, a man who works at a pet store and plays guitar. In 2007, Matthews appeared briefly in the movie I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, where he plays a homosexual salesman.[23] In 2008, he appeared in another Adam Sandler movie, You Don't Mess with the Zohan, as a racist redneck character named James.[24] He also had a significant role in Lake City with Sissy Spacek and Troy Garity, in which he portrays the character "Red."[25] He was also in three 2011 movies, The Other Side with Giovanni Ribisi and Jason Lee, In The Woods, starring Debra Winger and Terrence Howard, and the Adam Sandler comedy Just Go With It.

In 2007, Matthews guest starred in the Fox drama series House in the episode "Half-Wit". He played a piano-playing musical savant who ended up having half of his brain removed in order to recover from his epilepsy, but at the expense of his musical abilities. Dave had a piano double for the complex pieces, but played the simpler pieces himself.[26] In the Season One episode of "House" -"Love Hurts"- the song "Some Devil" can be heard playing at the end. In another episode, one of the tracks from Stand Up, "You Might Die Trying" was played ("House M.D", Season Five, "Not Cancer").[27]

The fifth time Matthews appeared as musical guest on Saturday Night Live in November 2009 (which was also the fourth time the Dave Matthews Band appeared on the show), he made an appearance as Ozzy Osbourne in a skit called "The Mellow Show." Bill Hader impersonated Matthews in the same skit.

Matthews was also a cast member and performer in the popular music documentary, Before the Music Dies.[28]

Other activities[edit]

In 2011, Matthews collaborated with wine maker Steve Reeder in creating the Dreaming Tree Wines.[29][30][31]

In April 2012, Matthews was credited as producer on a documentary, "Last Call at the Oasis", directed by Jessica Yu.[32]

In 1999, Matthews purchased more than ten acres of land in Albemarle County, VA, known as Blenheim Farm, to preserve its historical significance. He later decided to plant grapes on the property, since it is located within both the Virginia and Monticello viticultural areas. Blenheim Vineyards was founded in 2000, and currently produces 5,500 cases of wine per year, including their signature Petit Verdot and several special edition wines which have featured unique labels with drawings by Matthews himself.[33]

In early 2013, Matthews participated in a jam session at Blade Studios in Shreveport, Louisiana with Jakob Dylan, Charlie Sexton, Blade studios co-owner Brady Blade, and Sexton's brother Will. This eventually led to the formation of a band called The Nauts with Matthews, Dylan, Blade, and the Sexton brothers as members.[34]

Personal life[edit]

Dave Matthews married longtime girlfriend Jennifer Ashley Harper in 2000. The couple has twin daughters, Stella Busina and Grace Anne, born in 2001, and a son, August Oliver, born in 2007. They reside in Seattle, Washington.[35] In a 2001 interview, Matthews stated that he was agnostic.[36] Matthews is also on the Farm Aid Board of Directors along with fellow musicians Willie Nelson and Neil Young, who raise money for family farmers in the United States.[37]

Politics[edit]

Matthews published an Internet video prior to the 2000 U.S. Presidential election, urging viewers to vote without advocating any candidate. He mentioned only Ralph Nader by name, and updated fans about the recording sessions for Everyday. Although his music often explores political and social issues, Matthews refrained from public campaigning for Presidential candidates until 2004. He cast his support strongly with Democratic nominee John Kerry, performing at political events including the Vote for Change tour.

Matthews performing in 2009

Matthews also supported Barack Obama for President in 2008, both in the primaries and in the general election.[38] On April 6, 2008, he and Tim Reynolds played a concert titled "Change Rocks"[39] at Indiana University to encourage students to register to vote. The tickets were distributed by the Obama campaign.[40] Questions regarding his citizenship were answered by advertisements and videos on YouTube, where he says he is a "real American" and a "real Virginian," stating that "real Virginians get out and vote."[41] Even though he was recently bereaved by the loss of band co-founder and saxophonist, LeRoi Moore on August 19, 2008, he and Tim Reynolds played for the Democratic National Convention delegates on Sunday, August 24 at Red Rocks,[42] and again with Reynolds at the Virginia Commonwealth University, on October 26, 2008,[43] among other places. Matthews has often supported environmental initiatives, such as biofuel availability and the fight against global climate change.[citation needed]

On September 21, 2009, Matthews stated that some of President Barack Obama's harsher critics were motivated by his race, and stated that he "sees it [racism] everywhere" in the United States.[44] Matthews is also a strong supporter of gay rights and participated in "Love Unites Shepard Fairey Equality Project", a gay marriage advocacy project.[45]

On May 10, 2012, Matthews entertained a sellout crowd at the Paramount Theatre in Seattle, Washington, where President Obama was hosting a campaign fundraiser.[citation needed]

Equipment[edit]

Past equipment
Present equipment
  • Rockbridge SJ Sunburst Acoustic Guitar (used in 2011)

(Spring/Summer 2009 DMB Tour & Summer/Fall 2010 DMB Tour)

  • Taylor 914c 6-String Acoustic Guitar w/Venetian Cutaway (standard guitar used for all songs not listed below)[46]
  • Taylor 914c 6-String Acoustic Guitar w/Florentine Cutaway (Drop D Tuning) (Don't Drink The Water, Bartender, Crush, Shake Me Like A Monkey, Seven, Break Free)[46]
  • Taylor GA7 (Beach Ball, You Never Know, Sister, Oh, Write A Song)
  • Gibson Custom Sunburst Acoustic (Raised B Tuning, Lying In The Hands of God, Stay or Leave)
  • Taylor W65 12-string (Grey Street, Raven, Bartender, Sweet Up and Down, Kit Kat Jam, JTR, The Last Stop, Big Eyed Fish, Monkey Man)
  • Jerry Jones Original Single-cutaway Baritone (Smooth Rider, Louisiana Bayou, What You Are, So Right, Break Free, Some Devil, Kill the King)
  • Veillette Gryphon (Shotgun, Squirm, Baby Blue, Idea of You, Falling Of The Roof)
  • National ResoLectric (Alligator Pie)
  • Fender custom Stratocaster (Why I Am)
  • Dunlop Tortex .6 mm Guitar Picks
  • D'Addario EXP17 Strings (6-String)
  • D'Addario EJ39 Strings (12-String)
  • Matchless DC-30 Amplifier[46]
  • Shure UHF Wireless System[46]

Awards and accolades[edit]

Grammy Awards[edit]

ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards[edit]

  • Most Performed Song from a Motion Picture – "Where Are You Going" (for Mr. Deeds)
  • Dave Matthews was awarded D.M.A. honoris causa by Haverford College on May 15, 2005.[47]
  • 2002: Matthews was the recipient of the Orville Gibson Award for Best Acoustic Guitarist.[citation needed]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Digital downloads[edit]

Two shows have been released as part of the Dave Matthews Band's DMBlive series available only for online download.[48]

  • Dave Matthews Benaroya Hall, Seattle, WA (10/24/2002) - 2008
  • Dave Matthews China Club, NYC (01/09/2004) - 2008

Live albums with Tim Reynolds[edit]

Live Trax Vol. 23 Live Trax Vol. 24

Singles[edit]

Year Single Chart positions Album
US Mod US Adult US Pop
2003 "Gravedigger" 35 35  — Some Devil
"Save Me"  — 26  —
2004 "Oh"  —  —  —
2007 "Eh Hee"  —  — 73 Live at Radio City
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Other charted songs[edit]

Year Single Chart positions Album
US Country US
[49]
2008 "I'm Alive" (with Kenny Chesney) 54 118 Lucky Old Sun

Guest singles[edit]

Year Single Artist Chart positions Album
US Country US CAN
2009 "I'm Alive"A Kenny Chesney 6 32 73 Greatest Hits II
  • A "I'm Alive" charted as an album cut in 2008 before being released as a single in 2009

Music videos[edit]

Year Video Director
2009 "I'm Alive" (w/ Kenny Chesney) Shaun Silva/Potsy Ponciroli

Collaborations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1][dead link]
  2. ^ Tavis Smiley on PBS [2][dead link]
  3. ^ Randy Lewis (2009-12-19). "Dave Matthews Band rocks to the top in concert revenue - Los Angeles Times". Articles.latimes.com. Retrieved 2012-12-17. 
  4. ^ Nevin Martell, The Dave Matthews Band: Music for the People (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2004), 3–4
  5. ^ Nevin Martell, The Dave Matthews Band: Music for the People (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2004), 5
  6. ^ Gardner, Elysa. "Jconline - Postcard from the road: Pete Seeger's all-star hootenanny". Content.usatoday.net. Retrieved 2012-04-15. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f Published: May 31, 1998 (1998-05-31). "''New York Times (May 31, 1998)". Nytimes.com. Retrieved 2013-12-04. 
  8. ^ At Ease, ECC newsletter, May 1986, cited in Jacklyn Cock, Colonels & Cadres – War & Gender in South Africa, Oxford University Press, 1991, pg81
  9. ^ a b Whitefield, Fredricka (2005). "Profiles of U2 and The Dave Matthews Band" CNN.com (accessed May 3, 2006)
  10. ^ "Driven: Dave Matthews – About the Episode" VH1.com (accessed May 4, 2006)
  11. ^ "Interview With Greg Howard". nancies.org. Retrieved 2012-12-17. 
  12. ^ "03.14.1991 Trax Nightclub Charlottesville, Virginia (Middle East Children's Alliance benefit)". DMBAlmanac.com. Retrieved November 4, 2010. 
  13. ^ a b c Dave Matthews Band: Music for the People, Revised and Updated - Nevin Martell - Google Boeken. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2012-12-17. 
  14. ^ "Blue Man FAQs". Blue Man Productions. Retrieved March 6, 2009. ""Sing Along," a track from The Complex, featuring Dave Matthews on vocals, is Blue Man Group’s first music video." 
  15. ^ "Gold and Platinum". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved March 6, 2009. 
  16. ^ "Dave Matthews links up with Trey Anastasio, others for winter tour". Live Daily. October 7, 2003. Retrieved March 6, 2009. "Joining Matthews on the outing are Trey Anastasio, Brady Blade, Tony Hall, Ray Paczkowski and Tim Reynolds.... Late last month, Matthews released Some Devil; his first solo set. Anastasio, Hall and Blade all appear on the album." 
  17. ^ "Dave Matthews Forms Supergroup with Jakob Dylan". Rolling Stone. December 16, 2013. Retrieved December 18, 2013. "In late 2013, it was announced that Dave Matthews was part of a music project called The Nauts. Matthews, along with Jakob Dylan, Brady Blade, Charlie Sexton and his brother Bill are self producing their debut album at the Blade Studios in Shreveport, Louisiana." 
  18. ^ Nino, Matias and Bokon, Rob. "Béla Fleck and the Flecktones". DMBAlmanac.com. 
  19. ^ Harris, Emmylou. "Red Dirt Girl". Retrieved May 2, 2009. 
  20. ^ "Dave Matthews and Emmylou Harris". Country Music Television, Inc. Retrieved May 2, 2009. 
  21. ^ The Dave Matthews Band (Book). Retrieved November 2008. 
  22. ^ "Where the Red Fern Grows". Internet Movie Database. Amazon.com. Retrieved October 12, 2008. 
  23. ^ "I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry". Internet Movie Database. Amazon.com. Retrieved October 12, 2008. 
  24. ^ "You Don't Mess with the Zohan". Internet Movie Database. Amazon.com. Retrieved October 12, 2008. 
  25. ^ "Lake City". Internet Movie Database. Amazon.com. Retrieved October 12, 2008. 
  26. ^ "Inside House: Hugh Laurie and Dave Matthews Play Piano". 
  27. ^ ""House M.D." Half-Wit". Internet Movie Database. Amazon.com. Retrieved October 12, 2008. 
  28. ^ "Before the Music Dies (2006)". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2012-12-17. 
  29. ^ "Unfiltered: Dave Matthews' Wine Dream". Wine Spectator. October 20, 2011. Retrieved March 14, 2012. 
  30. ^ "Wine Taste Test: How Do Dave Matthews, Banana Republic And More Branded Wines Stack Up?". Huffington Post. October 26, 2011. Retrieved March 14, 2012. 
  31. ^ "Alcohol: Dave Matthews Wine?". Zimbio. February 1, 2012. Retrieved March 14, 2012. 
  32. ^ "ATO Pictures to Distribute Must-See Doc ‘Last Call at the Oasis’". Blog.documentarychannel.com. 
  33. ^ "Blenheim Vineyards". Blenheim Vineyards. Retrieved 2013-12-04. 
  34. ^ "Dave Matthews Heads New Supergroup with Jakob Dylan". Rolling Stone. December 16, 2013. Retrieved December 16, 2013. 
  35. ^ [3][dead link]
  36. ^ "Dave Matthews - Celebrity Atheist List". Celebatheists.com. Retrieved 2012-12-17. 
  37. ^ "Board and Staff". Farm Aid. Retrieved 2012-12-17. 
  38. ^ Bates, Eric (April 17, 2008). "Dave Matthews Speaks Out for Barack Obama". RollingStone. Retrieved September 7, 2008. 
  39. ^ Matthews, Dave; Reynolds, Tim (April 2, 2008). "Change Rocks: Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds to Perform Special Show in Support of Barack Obama". Presented by Indiana University Union Board. Official Dave Matthews Website. Retrieved February 4, 2009. 
  40. ^ "Dave Matthews at Indiana University". my.barackobama.com. 2008-04-06. Retrieved 2012-04-15. 
  41. ^ "Dave Matthews for Obama". YouTube. Retrieved 2012-12-17. 
  42. ^ [4][dead link]
  43. ^ Matthews, Dave; Reynolds, Tim (October 26, 2008). "Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds at Virginia Commonwealth University". Democratic National Committee. Retrieved February 4, 2009. 
  44. ^ "U.S. racism 'everywhere,' says Dave Matthews - CNN.com". CNN. September 21, 2009. Retrieved May 1, 2010. 
  45. ^ Eddins, Andrew. "Voice for Equality: Dave Matthews". Retrieved 2009-12-22. 
  46. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Gear". Dave Matthews Band. Retrieved October 12, 2008. 
  47. ^ "Haverford College News". Haverford.edu. 2005-02-18. Retrieved 2012-12-17. 
  48. ^ "DMBLive Series". Davematthewsband.shop.musictoday.com. Retrieved 2013-12-04. 
  49. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2011). Top Pop Singles 1955–2010. Record Research, Inc. p. 577. ISBN 0-89820-188-8. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]