Having faced more than one family tragedy in his life, Dave Matthews has continued to find success and compassion in all he does.
Matthews family sorrows possibly began in 1977 when his father died of lung cancer. The devastation inspired him to write the lyrics for “carpe diem”. In 1994, Matthews’ older sister was murdered by her husband, who then subsequently committed suicide. That year, Matthews performed with Tim Reynolds at The Wetlands where he dedicated that performance to her memory. He also released the album Under The Table and Dreaming to her.
Then, in August of 2008, the band suffered the loss of founding band member LeRoi Moore who died from complications stemming from an ATV accident.
Dave Matthews was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. His family immigrated to New York when Matthews was two. The family then moved to Cambridge, England in 1974, then back to South Africa in 1977. Matthews moved back to New York in 1986 where he worked for IBM for a short time before then moving to Charlottesville, Virginia. It was in Charlottesville that he became a part of the local music community. By 1991, he started The Dave Matthews Band. Joining him was Boyd Tinsley, LeRoi Moore, Carter Beauford, Stefan Lessard and Peter Griesar. The band’s first show was on April 20, 1991 at the Earth Day Festival in Charlottesville.
In 1993, The Dave Matthews Band released their first album Remember Two Things. The album went on to be certified gold by the RIAA as an independent album. The band’s fan base grew quickly as the band allowed fans to tape shows for their personal use. In 1994, the band recorded Under The Table and Dreaming and the group went on its first official national tour. The album became certified four times platinum. Despite the awards, it wasn’t until 1996 that the group became more mainstream with the release of Crash. The album quickly jumped to No. 2 on the Billboard 200 chart. Now having a name and a large following, by the time the group released Live At Red Rocks in 1997, the album debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 charts without any marketing or promotion. The grassroots band quickly jumped to becoming one of the hottest bands in America.
In 1998, DMB released their third studio album Before These Crowded Streets. The recording debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart. The band was at its highest, selling out stadiums and arenas across the country.
Changing it up a bit in 1999, Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds began performing as a duo acoustically. Live at Luther College debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 chart and has since been certified platinum by the RIAA .
During the new millennium, the band spent much of its time on tour and becoming the top-grossing touring band in the U.S. That same year Matthews joined producer Glen Ballard in Los Angeles to fine-tune song arrangements for a new album. The pair wound up co-writing 12 new songs in a matter of days. In 2001, a fourth studio album was released – Everyday. The album went triple platinum.
The Dave Matthews Band continued to release successful albums, including Live in Chicago 12.19.98, Live At Folsom Field, Boulder CO, The Central Park Concert, The Gorge, Weekend on the Rocks, Live At Radio City, Live At Piedmont Park, Live At Mile High Music Festival, Europe 2009, and Live in Las Vegas.
In addition to the band’s success, Matthews released his first solo album Some Devil in 2003. The single “Gravedigger” went platinum and Matthews won a Grammy Award in 2004. At the same time, Matthews was performing with other musicians and appearing as a guest vocalist on various albums as well as in concert. He sang on the Blue Man’s Group’s second album The Complex as well as with Bela Fleck and the Flecktones. Matthews has also performed with Emmylou Harris where the two performed a duet on “My Antonia” for her 2000 album Red Dirt Girl.
Despite Matthew’s personal tragedies, he has continued on a successful musician, and philanthropist.
Jeff Bachmeier is owner of 977music.com, an online music and online radio station network providing live streaming Internet Radio channels with music from the 50’s thru Today. Users can also choose to create their own customized on demand playlist through their own social media profile. For more information please visit http://www.977music.com.