Bartender (Dave Matthews Band song)
|Song by Dave Matthews Band|
|from the album Busted Stuff|
|Length||8:31 (Busted Stuff)
10:03 (Lillywhite Sessions)
|Songwriter(s)||David J. Matthews|
|Busted Stuff track listing|
|The Lillywhite Sessions 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 person who, while talking to a bartender, deals with thoughts of their 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. In the song, the protagonist tells others not to have certain feelings about him/her if he/she goes before his/her time. "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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