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Even by the most conservative standards, it seems safe to start celebrating the upcoming release of the Dave Matthews Band’s 8th studio album! Earlier this week, Stefan Lessard, who is always good about letting fans in on the progress of the group, tweeted, “Just imagine yourself dancing to something new and something beautiful!” And if that’s not enough to wet your whistle, check out this video where Rashawn Ross talks about his role on the new record.

According to Rashawn, the horn section of the recent creation was completed in one day, only six hours, to be exact! That is amazing, and certainly a sign that things are flowing for our favorite musicians. Rashawn also states that his horn sounded so powerful that there was no need to “stack”, a common practice used in the recording industry to give the illusion of multiple horn players, in order to add weight to the sound. To me this is fantastic news, as it appears that the boys are working in a simpler, more organic way with producer Steve Lillywhite. As you probably remember, Mr. Lillywhite produced the band’s first three albums, “Under the Table and Dreaming,” “Crash,” and “Before These Crowded Streets.” He also worked with DMB in 1999 and 2000, making the unreleased “Lillywhite Sessions,” which were famously leaked onto the internet. Despite changing producers, many tracks from the “Lillywhite Sessions” grew to form the basis of “Busted Stuff.”

From the way Stefan and Rashawn are talking, it sounds like we are in for some outstanding new material. And I certainly don’t want to discourage that. But, wouldn’t it also be amazing to find a full "#40" on this release? I bring this up because a really funny thing happened the other day. I had my ipod on shuffle, as I do when I’m feeling especially daring, (usually I just listen to straight DMB, no hits, deep tracks only), and the breathtaking version of "#40" from 5/10/95, at Yoshi’s in California, came on. It’s always awesome when that first note of a Dave song emerges from shuffle, but particularly when that note signifies one of your all time favorite Dave songs. But glancing at my ipod, I saw something peculiar. For some reason, wherever I downloaded this number from, (it was certainly not dbtp!), had it listed as part of the “Lillywhite Sessions.” Coincidence? Maybe, but it’s certainly more interesting to imagine that this was a foreshadowing of wonderful things to come!

If this dream of mine comes true it would certainly give new meaning to the line, “The road to you is long but I’ve been on it for awhile. But I need to rode away, I’ll take a break.” In fact this could accurately describe the process through which both the band, and Steve Lillywhite, have gone to get to where they are now. Either way, I’m just grateful that they have agreed to work together again, coming full circle, to create what I hope will be so wondrous, that it will have us questioning whether we are right side up, or upside down.

Hayley Bauman, Psy.D.

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