Watch Jason Isbell Jam With Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds On ‘Cortez The Killer’ Cover In Mexico

Friday’s Dave & Tim show at the Moon Palace also featured guest appearances by Mavis Staples and Robert “RAab” Stevenson.

By Scott Bernstein Feb 20, 2024 12:30 pm PST

Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds brought out a trio of special guests on Friday at the Moon Palace in Riviera Cancún, Mexico. The collaborations during the duo’s first of three headlining performances at their 2024 Riviera Maya destination event came with guitarist/vocalist Jason Isbell on a Neil Young cover as well as with vocalist Mavis Staples and celebrity vocal coach Robert “RAab” Stevenson on a The Band classic.

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit and Mavis Staples were among support at Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds Riviera Maya 2024, which ran from February 15 – 18. The Lone Bellow and Kristen Rae Bowden & Joe Lawlor rounded out this year’s lineup.

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Matthews and Reynolds kept fans guessing right from the start on Friday by kicking off their 24-song concert with “Big Eyed Fish.” The pair had never used the Busted Stuff track as an opener previously and last played the tune in the duo setting way back on March 31, 2003. Another surprise followed a few songs later when Dave and Tim covered Blind Faith’s “Can’t Find My Way Home” for the first time since December 10, 2009.

Isbell emerged after a coupling of “Lie In Our Graves” and “Old Dirt Hill (Bring That Beat Back)” to join the duo on “Cortez The Killer.” Dave and Tim’s last duo performance of the Neil Young cover came at their 2019 Riviera Maya event with special guest Warren Haynes. Jason Isbell made his first appearance with the pair count by sharing lead vocals with Dave and shredding a stellar solo.


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Mark H. Camper
Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds (See 228 videos) and Jason Isbell (See 95 videos)

Mavis Staples and Robert “RAab” Stevenson took the stage with Matthews and Reynolds a few songs later. The four musicians joined forces on “The Weight,” a song by The Band Dave and Tim hadn’t performed at one of their past duo shows. Staples, Stevenson and Matthews each took a verse with Mavis singing a second one.


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Ansley .Snapp (See 5 videos)
Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds (See 228 videos) and Mavis Staples (See 27 videos)
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Matthews and Reynolds included plenty of oldies in the rest of Friday’s set including “Gravedigger,” “The Stone,” “Dancing Nancies,” “I’ll Back You Up,” “What Would You Say” and “Warehouse.” The duo closed their first concert of Riviera Maya 2024 with an encore of “Sister” and “Two Step.”

More guest spots followed for Dave and Tim on Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday, producer John Alagia sat-in with the pair on a cover of The Beatles’ “If I Fell.” Then, The Lone Bellow’s Kanene Pipkin added to the Bob Dylan cover “Oh, Sister.” Pipkin stuck around as her bandmates Brian Elmquist and Zach Williams joined the fray for Dave & Tim’s first take on “Old Man” by Neil Young. Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio collaborated with Dave & Tim on three songs to end their main set on Sunday.

Dave Matthews Band next takes the stage for two U.S. shows early next month before launching a European tour on April 2 in Amsterdam. Scroll below for a complete list of dates.

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Setlist (via DMB Almanac)

Set: Big Eyed Fish, Grace Is Gone, The Best of What’s Around, Can’t Find My Way Home, Lie in Our Graves, Old Dirt Hill (Bring That Beat Back), Cortez the Killer*, Bartender, Grey Street, Betrayal, Death on the High Seas, The Weight**, Gravedigger, Walk Around the Moon, The Stone, Samurai Cop (Oh Joy Begin), Monsters, Dancing Nancies, I’ll Back You Up, You Are My Sanity, What Would You Say, Warehouse

Encore: Sister, Two Step

  • * – with Jason Isbell on guitar and vocals
  • ** – with Mavis Staples and Robert “RAab” Stevenson on vocals

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