Happy Birthday Dave Matthews: Performing Live Spotify Playlist

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Dave Matthews was born in Johannesburg, South Africa on this date in 1967. As guitarist and frontman of the Dave Matthews Band, the 54-year-old Matthews was a prominent figure in the early-1990s jam scene alongside contemporaries like Phish, Widespread Panic and others.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic that shutdown live concert touring, DMB regularly held shows around the world year in and year out, with few exceptions. For Dave’s birthday today, the Spotify Playlist presented as this week’s Saturday Stream compiles live recordings featuring Matthews on stage from throughout his career.

According to the DMB official website (emphasis added):

Dave Matthews Band formed in Charlottesville, Virginia, in early 1991 when vocalist/guitarist Dave Matthews decided to put some songs he had written on tape. Instead of simply recording himself with a guitar, he opted to bring in some instrumental help to give his musical ideas more depth.

Matthews found assistance in drummer Carter Beauford and saxophonist LeRoi Moore, who were both accomplished jazz musicians in the local Charlottesville music scene. Based on the recommendation of distinguished local jazz guru John D’earth, 16-year-old musical prodigy Stefan Lessard came on board to play bass. Completing the lineup were keyboard player Peter Griesar (who left the band after a couple of years) and talented and classically trained violinist Boyd Tinsley.

The band’s first public performances were at a Middle East Children’s Alliance Benefit at Trax Nightclub in March and at the City of Charlottesville’s Earth Day Festival in April. The first official gig for the newly conceived Dave Matthews Band was May 11, 1991, at a private party held on the rooftop of the pink warehouse on South Street in downtown Charlottesville. Regular gigs soon followed at two local clubs – Eastern Standard and Trax Nightclub.

Matthews, Beauford, Tinsley, Moore and Lessard eventually added keyboardist Butch Taylor whose stint spanned 2001 to 2008. Trumpeter Rashawn Ross joined the band in 2005. The lineup was again altered following Moore’s tragic death in 2008 and the recruitment of saxophonist Jeff Coffin. Longtime Matthews collaborator, guitarist Tim Reynolds, became an official member of DMB that same year following regular sit-ins and duo performances with Matthews. After taking most of 2017 off the road, DMB returned in 2018 without Tinsley. Later that year keyboardist Buddy Strong came aboard ahead of their summer tour solidifying the current lineup.

The Spotify Playlist below chronologically presents Dave Matthews Band and Dave & Tim live recordings spanning August 1993 to June 2013. Included are the first 30 volumes in the Live Trax archival series, each of DMB and Dave & Tim’s officially released live albums and a few bonus tracks. Stream here:

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