It was early 1991 at Charlottesville, Virginia when Dave Matthews (vocalist/guitarist) chose to record some of his written songs on tape. He sought the help of Carter Beauford (drummer) and LeRoi Moore (saxophonist), in order to add depth to the songs. Thus started the incredible journey of Dave Matthews Band (DMB). Bass guitarist Stefan Lessard joined the band very soon. The lineup was completed by keyboardist Peter Griesar and skilled violinist Boyd Tinsley.
The band’s first open exhibitions were at the Trax Nightclub during March and at Charlottesville’s Earth Day Festival during April. Their first gig officially was in May 11, 1991, on South Street in downtown Charlottesville. In 1992, DMB started to get recognition outside their area as they began to cover more gigs out of town. The fan base developed at an unbelievable rate as DMB wandered outside its local Virginia to perform at North Carolina, South Carolina, across Washington DC, Pennsylvania and also in New York. A key factor behind it was DMB allowing fans to videotape their shows for personal use. This created a high buzz and contributed in the creation of a highly interactive fan community.
During November 9, 1993, DMB released its debut album, titled “Remember Two Things” under the label Bama Rags. The independent album, recorded live at The Muse Music Club on Nantucket Island in August of 1993, appeared as the highest independent entry on the College lists. This was a huge achievement for an autonomous album. The album was confirmed as Platinum in the subsequent years.
On May 1994, Dave Matthews Band started recording “Under The Table and Dreaming”, its first studio album and RCA debut – at Bearsville Studios in New York with popular maker Steve Lillywhite. “Under The Table and Dreaming” appeared at No. 34 on The Billboard 200 and ended up resting at No. 11. The achievement of the album’s first single, “What Would You Say,” at radio extended the band’s fan base. By the fall of 1995, “Under The Table and Dreaming” had been affirmed Platinum four times by the RIAA.
In February 1996, Dave Matthews Band won the GRAMMY for Best Rock Vocal Performance by a Group for “So Much To Say.” With no highlighting or advancement, Live at Red Rocks appeared at No. 3 on The Billboard 200 and was right away affirmed Platinum after release in October 28, 1997. Their third album “Before These Crowded Streets” was released on April 28, 1998. The widely praised recording was the band’s first album to make a big appearance at No. 1 on The Billboard 200, replacing the Titanic soundtrack.
The band spent 2001 roaming North America and meeting sold-out groups of onlookers with melodies from “Everyday”, which was released on February 27, 2001 and appeared at No. 1 on The Billboard 200. The album has been guaranteed triple Platinum. Busted Stuff, DMB’s fifth studio album, was released on July 16, 2002 and appeared at No. 1 on The Billboard 200. Initially single “”Where Are You Going” topped the Triple A radios and was a Top 20 hit at Modern Rock.
Released on June 2, 2009, “Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King” ruled The Billboard 200, making Dave Matthews Band one of just two bands in history to have 5 successive studio albums to top the charts. It achieved Platinum and was nominated Album Of The Year and Best Rock Album. Not bad for a band that started out to check out how their music sounded on tape, right?