December 1st, 2005

by Jim Harrington

rr05.jpg It didn't take a genius to come up with this idea: Take one of the world's best live bands, put it in one of the country's most beautiful concert settings and let the tape roll.

It shouldn't surprise anybody that "Weekend on the Rocks," the Dave Matthews Band (music)'s two-disc document of its four-night stand this past September at Colorado's gorgeous Red Rocks Amphitheatre is an absolute winner.

Having attended three of the four shows, this critic can attest that the producers did a good job in compiling a representative sample of the long "Weekend."

October 1st, 2005

By Gerri Hirshey - October 2005

100105.jpgRocker and gentleman farmer-vintner Dave Matthews is on a mission to promote sustainability, starting with the vegetables, grapes, cattle and chickens on his property in Virginia wine country.

"I like food," says Dave Matthews, "but I like good food. I just think the quality of the food we eat is in a desperate state." As members of the Dave Matthews Band straggle into this state-of-the-art recording studio deep in the Virginia hills, 15 minutes outside Charlottesville, the boss sips extraordinarily good Kona coffee while unspooling the tale of his conversion from junk food road warrior to gentleman organic farmer-vintner.

Before anyone arrived at the studio—the musicians are racing to complete Stand Up, an album that will reach No. 1 immediately after its May 2005 release—the wonderful aroma of vegetable soup filled the corridors, courtesy of a beatific young woman who cooks for the band. "We eat like kings," Matthews says. "And we drink some really good wine." A bottle of Merlot from Matthews's Blenheim Vineyards sits on a counter, prompting a studio wit to declare, in plummy Orson Welles tones, "We shall release no album before its time."

September21st, 2005

092105.gif In recognition of its numerous charitable works, the Dave Matthews Band will be presented with the Humanitarian Award during Roadwork '05: The Billboard Touring Conference and Awards in New York.

The group, which donates millions to non-profit organizations around the world through its own Bama Works Foundation, was among the many acts to aid victims of Hurricane Katrina, raising nearly $1.5 million by adding a fourth show to a recent run of sellouts at Colorado's Red Rocks Amphitheatre. Additionally, Dave Matthews participated last night (Sept. 20) participated in the Big Apple to the Big Easy hurricane relief concerts in New York.

Farm Aid, New York City public schools and parks, San Francisco Bay Area charities and victims of the Southeast Asian tsunami are among the many beneficiaries of the Dave Matthews Band's philanthropy.

September 18th, 2005

Chicago Sun-Times - by Dave Hoekstra

0918051.jpg Willie Nelson has been on the road again and again on behalf of Farm Aid. Someday that road will end, which is why Dave Matthews has become a key member of the Farm Aid Board of Directors. Advertisement

Matthews and his wife Ashley were more than welcoming to myself and photographer Paul Natkin last spring when we visited their home in Seattle for the book Farm Aid: A Song for America (Rodale, $35, hardcover). In the course of a three-hour conversation in their backyard, Ashley (granting her first print interview ever) and Dave were deeply articulate and highly educated about eco-farm issues. Matthews is clearly in for one long haul, which makes for "One Sweet World" for the American family farmer.

September 8th, 2005

By Mark Brown, Rocky Mountain News

090805.jpgDave Matthews sounds terrible.

That's not a musical criticism; rather, he's battling a killer cold on the way to a show in Albuquerque while at the same time reflecting on life, death, God, fate, hurricanes and his own search for answers.

Maybe, he says, it's his own search that has connected fans to him - enough for the Dave Matthews Band to fill Red Rocks for the next four nights running, including Monday's hurricane-relief show, which was expected to sell out even with many tickets priced at $1,000 each.

While some find answers in religion or nature, some of his early ones came through music, he says.

"I was amazed by music as a kid, always. And by art of all kinds, but music was an instantaneous thing. It amazed me since I can remember. That's what drew me to it," he says.

"I'm always wondering, 'Why?' I'm fairly confident that the answer is 'Because.' I sort of juggle those things. Maybe someone else will find some solace in the lyrics of a song."

Tackling big questions

microphone.jpgBy Brian Fox | September 2005

Stefan Lessard Shows His Street Smarts With The Dave Matthews Band

090105.jpgStefan Lessard might have grown up in the scholarly college town of Charlottesville, but the University of Virginia isn’t where he got his education. For the past 15 years, Lessard has developed under the tutelage of his bandmates in the Dave Matthews Band. The “Doogie Howser” of the band, Stefan was only 16 when he enrolled in DMB University. Since then, he and his bandmates have released 13 multi-platinum albums and thrilled millions of rapt fans with their freewheeling, jam-heavy live performances.

As a teen, Lessard took music study seriously, playing upright bass in youth orchestras and jazz combos. But when the time came to take it to the streets with charismatic singer/songwriter Matthews, Stefan jumped at the chance. “I developed everything I have from being in this band,” Lessard says. “I’d had only a bit of instruction before I was thrown in, and ever since then I’ve been trying to keep up.”

Amid an international tour, and just a few days after the band’s performance at Philadelphia’s Live 8 concert, Stefan—or Fonzie, as he’s nicknamed—sat down to talk about the band’s new album Stand Up, how he works with producers, and what it’s like to play alongside singer/guitarist Matthews, drummer Carter Beauford, and touring keyboardist Butch Taylor, the core players in one of the most successful pop bands in history.

August 24th, 2005 | Issue 41•34 | The Onion

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA—Dave Matthews, the 38-year-old singer and guitarist for the multi-platinum group The Dave Matthews Band, announced Tuesday that he is no longer into himself.

"I used to be a hardcore Dave Matthews fan," said Matthews on the porch of his Virginia home. "I had all my records and posters. I was so blown away by everything I did—especially my live performances. I remember me and my buddies used to drive for hours just to go to one of our shows."

Matthews, who formed the Dave Matthews Band in 1991, is perhaps best known for the hit songs "Crash Into Me" and "The Space Between."

"Me and my band are still okay, but I feel like I've grown out of us," Matthews said. "Back when I was in the college charts, we were about all I listened to, but I guess I'm at the point in my life where my music just doesn't speak to me."

August 19th, 2005

By GENE STOUT, SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER POP MUSIC CRITIC

081905.jpgYour neighborhood rock superstar isn't going anywhere, except `heaven's amphitheater

Dave Matthews' Seattle fans can relax. The rock superstar isn't leaving town.

"I don't have any plans to leave, and we haven't put our house on the market," Matthews said cheerfully this week.

"My wife is done with school, but we're attached to the city. So as far as I know, unless there are some changes that my wife has not informed me of, we have no plans to leave."

Matthews, a native of South Africa who grew up in Virginia, moved to Seattle a few years ago when his wife, Ashley, came here to attend medical school. Despite speculation that Matthews would move away after she got her degree, Matthews said the couple have formed a bond with the city and have many friends here. And the couple's twin daughters, Stella Busina and Grace Anne, were born here in 2001.

"When I'm not working, we spend most of the year (in Seattle)," the singer-guitarist said in a phone interview this week.

"But we do visit (Charlottesville) Virginia. We have a lot of roots that we put down there. But it seems like our family started here in Seattle, so this is my home now. That's how I feel about it."

Matthews has become a big fan of the city, which fits his temperament and political views.

"Absolutely, that's one of the big reasons I like it here," he said. "It doesn't have a vicious quality to its political beliefs. But it's still strong-willed.

"I just feel that for so many reasons, this is a really unique American city."

August 15th, 2005

San Francisco Chronicle - Joel Selvin, Chronicle Senior Pop Music Critic

c081505.jpgWhen Dave Matthews sings, he gets so worked up, veins bulge on his neck. His songs start slowly, but invariably end with his band crashing huge waves of sound behind him, while he pours on the passion.

What exactly he's so worked up about is not all that easy to divine, but there was no doubting the connection he made with the more than 55,000 fans that thronged both his appearances this weekend at SBC Park, not sold out, but still easily the biggest shows of the lackluster summer season.

Blending some of the world beat explorations of Paul Simon and Peter Gabriel with the elasticity of the Grateful Dead, the Matthews band has become the only major new rock act to emerge in the past 10 years that can sell out stadiums. All this has been accomplished almost entirely on the band's own terms, without great support from radio or many concessions to the so-called conventional wisdom of the record industry.

July 20th, 2005

Ben & Jerry's, Dave Matthews Band and SaveOurEnvironment.org Announce Winner of Take a Stand with Dave Matthews Band Contest to Lick Global Warming

a072005.jpgBe prepared to envy Joshua Glasheen of Lowell, MA because he has scored the coolest summer gig ever. As the winner of the "Take a Stand with Dave Matthews Band" contest - a national search by Ben & Jerry's, Dave Matthews Band and SaveOurEnvironment.org for an "Enviro-Roadie" to go on tour with Dave Matthews Band to mobilize the public to take action to fight global warming - Glasheen has earned the right to say "I'm with the band."

As the Enviro-Roadie, Glasheen will be the official ambassador of Ben & Jerry's, Dave Matthews Band and SaveOurEnvironment.org's Lick Global Warming campaign and will join Dave Matthews Band for 23 tour dates from July 16 to September 7. He'll host an interactive exhibit designed to educate people about the issue of global warming and inspire them to take action. He'll also hand out samples of Ben & Jerry's new flavor - Dave Matthews Band Magic Brownies - and maintain a blog on http://www.lickglobalwarming.org/ detailing his adventures on the road.

Josh was far and away the best candidate we interviewed," said Noelle Pirnie, Integrated Marketing Manager at Ben & Jerry's. "His passion for Dave Matthews Band's music and Ben & Jerry's ice cream combined with his enthusiasm and drive for effecting change and involving people in the fight against global warming impressed all of us."

July 12th, 2005

The Boston Globe - By Steve Morse

MANSFIELD -- Finally, perfect weather for a show at the Tweeter -- and a perfect host in Dave Matthews. He drew a sold-out crowd of nearly 20,000 fans, but what made the event shine was a continued sense of musical discovery.

The Dave Matthews Band gets away with perhaps the widest variety of music on the summer shed circuit -- from mountain hoedowns to African dance-pop, pretty love ballads, and mellifluous bebop. Call it part Woodstock, part Tanglewood Jazz Festival, with a bit of Telluride thrown in for good measure.

Matthews was clearly up for Boston (no surprise given a history that dates back to playing Nantucket's Muse club), and he pulled out ''#34," a suite-like gem that marked its first live performance in 12 years, according to the group's website, davematthewsband.com. The well-oiled crowd roared approval of old favorites ''Crush," ''Drive in Drive Out" (with LeRoi Moore excelling on baritone sax, after playing soprano sax earlier), and political anthem ''Don't Drink the Water," about the exploitation of Native Americans. That brought out Matthews's most emphatic vocal.

June 16th, 2005

Dave Matthews Band is back from the brink and back on the road

By JENNY ELISCU

rs9761.jpg The Mudhouse, a cafe in Charlottesville, Virginia, that employs the pierced, tattooed and generally bohemian, is not the kind of place where you pay for your mocha with a $100 bill. To do so would be to invite a sneer that says, "Why not just go to Starbucks, you corporate asshole?" To do so if you're Dave Matthews, whose band got its start fourteen years ago playing gigs at a tiny restaurant a few miles away, would be even more gauche. This is a fact of which Matthews is well aware, and when he opened his wallet on a balmy mid-May morning and saw that the only currency it contained was the Benjamin he'd been given as his per diem a few nights earlier, he panicked. "I had to borrow five dollars from my daughters' nanny," he says in a deep, gravelly monotone. And five dollars barely covered his mocha, which he takes with four shots of espresso.

Matthews is not just the biggest rock star in America -- since 1993, Dave Matthews Band have sold more than 30 million albums and 10 million concert tickets -- he is also one of the richest. DMB's new disc, Stand Up, sold 460,000 copies its first week, and the group is expected to rake in more than $40 million during its summer tour, which began June 1st and will roll straight through September. Even so, Matthews is loath to flaunt his riches. To buy coffee with a $100 bill, he says, would be like "making out in a room full of lonely people."

May 27th, 2005

052705.jpg The Dave Matthews Band may be the most successful group you've never heard of, writes Andrew Murfett.

In their native US they've sold tens of millions of albums and play to almost a million fans a year; yet somehow the Dave Matthews Band has managed to remain virtually anonymous in Australia. Even though their likeable brand of rootsy rock predates, and in some ways supersedes, the immediately recognisable likes of Ben Harper and Jack Johnson.

Here, the DMB have sold only 110,000 records and enjoy what is described as a cult following.

Ask Australian radio programmers or music fans why they have has not achieved local success and many suggest they are yet another bland American concoction. But that contradicts the unadulterated fanaticism of the band's diverse group of US followers.

Sydney-based Triple M announcer Byron Cooke was told by his American girlfriend, who had seen them play live a committed 32 times, that she would not marry him until he had listened to the entire Dave Matthews back catalogue.

microphone.jpgMay 25th, 2005

Nekesa Mumbi Moody

davelife.jpgThe Dave Matthews Band is on road so much their tour bus has become their second home — so they've tried to make it just as comfortable as their real abodes.

Besides their instruments and gear, they also bring a caterer so they don't have to take a chance on strange cuisine. They also have decorations to make things aesthetically pleasing — and their spouses and kids often tag along for the trek.

May 19, 2005

in issue 0420 of The Hook

BY VIJITH ASSAR VIJITH@READTHEHOOK.COM PHOTOS BY VIJITH ASSAR

0519051.jpgSuzanne Meukow, the Dave Matthews Band's travel coordinator, is sitting in the Charlottesville airport awaiting her departure to catch the Band's CD release show in New York.

"I've worked with them since day one," she says, indistinguishably proud and sentimental. She may be marveling at the contrast between the days when tour accommodations consisted of a cluttered Ford van and today, a sweet world in which no venue is too large. Or too small.

For the release of Stand Up, the sixth studio album, they've chosen the 3,000-seat Roseland Ballroom. That's a far cry from the show locals are most familiar with: the 2001 blow-out at UVA's Scott Stadium, which was 50,000 strong and didn't demand any traveling. As one of the city's biggest events ever, it's a vivid memory for many residents even four years later.

And now, Charlottesvillians can expect another show of biblical proportions. But not from Dave-- although DMB manager and real estate titan Coran Capshaw is among the promoters bringing the Rolling Stones to Scott Stadium in October. It looks like DMB may have put Charlottesville on the musical map in more ways than one.

May 19th, 2005

 "What do you get when you combine a veteran jam band with 50 Cent's producer? One likeable album.

By Christian Hoard (3.5 stars)

One advantage of actually being able to play your instruments: Midcareer crises are often less scary. In the four-plus years since DMB last convened to write and record a new album, its members have toured the country several times over; released four live albums and the rejiggered leftovers collection Busted Stuff; and taken time out as the band's frontman recorded a successful, if lightweight, solo debut. The group also dipped its toe into politics, playing concerts for John Kerry on the Vote for Change Tour. But if you were expecting the band to be bogged down by fame, fatigue, or global politics on its thirteenth album Stand Up, you haven't been paying much attention to this twelve-year-old quintet.