Dave Matthews Band owes much to a man sitting at a bar in Charlottesville, Virginia. That man, Ross Hoffman, insisted that his favorite bartender truly pursue his dream of becoming a professional musician, even if it was just playing little clubs in the area. Well, a couple decades later DMB is a household name and Dave Matthews Band tickets are available for annual summer pilgrimages.
The singer-songwriter/bartender was Dave Matthews and he began by just looking for a few local musicians to play with at jam sessions. This group of loosely organized and affiliated players quickly became a real outfit. Matthews played guitar, Carter Beauford played drums, Stefan Lessard played saxophone, Boyd Tinsley played violin, and Peter Griesar played the keyboard. With this lineup intact, DMB played its first live date at the local Earth Day music festival.
The band discovered its name at this festival. The organizers needed a name and simply took the name of the person who called and put “Band” behind his name. Thus, Dave Matthews Band had been formed and no one in the group seemed to care. The band began putting a little more effort into their work and soon made an impact on the college radio scene. DMB then, almost as quickly as they had established itself on the indie scene, burst onto the mainstream. The album Under the Table and Dreaming, with the songs “Satellite” and “Ants Marching”, went multi-platinum and made a solid impact on the Billboard 200.
Dave Matthews Band stuck around thanks to its catchy arrangements and at times subversive lyrics. The next six albums would go at least platinum. Crash has been the most successful album in the discography. It went seven-times platinum and it gave the world the major hits “Crash into Me” and “Tripping Billies”. Equally as successful have been the live albums.
In the 21st century, though DMB has had to endure critical and fan backlash and has lost one of its original band mates in a tragic accident (Moore), the group has continued to enjoy sold out shows. They have even released a few albums just to keep things fresh. Dave Matthews Band will likely continue to tour as the years wear on. All that is left is for the fans to give themselves a name like those of the Grateful Dead and Jimmy Buffett.