Dave Matthews

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Dave Matthews
Dave Matthews in 2000
Dave Matthews in 2000
Background information
Birth name David John Matthews
Born January 9, 1967
Flag of South Africa Johannesburg, Republic of South Africa
Origin Charlottesville, Virginia
Genre(s) Rock
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter, Guitarist
Instrument(s) Vocals, Guitar, Piano
Years active 1989 - Present
Label(s) RCA
Tribe of Heaven (1989-90)
Dave Matthews Band (1991-present)
Dave Matthews & Friends (2003-present)
Emmylou Harris
Website DaveMatthewsBand.com
For other people named Dave (or David) Matthews see David Matthews (disambiguation)

David John Matthews (born January 9, 1967) is a South African, now naturalized American, Grammy-winning lead vocalist and guitarist from Dave Matthews Band. He has also worked as a solo artist and with other musicians, most often with Tim Reynolds. An occasional actor, he has appeared in two feature films.


[edit] Early life

Dave was born the youngest of a family with three other children: two sisters (Anne and Jane) and a brother (Peter). When Dave was two years old, his family migrated to Yorktown Heights in Westchester County, New York, where his father, a physicist, went to work for IBM. Then, in the early `70s, to Cambridge, England, before returning to New York — where his dad died in 1977. The family moved back to South Africa in 1980. The elder Matthews encouraged Dave to take piano lessons as a child before he picked up the guitar at age nine. Dave's sister, Anne, died in 1994 when she was killed by her husband just before he took his own life.[1] The Grammy nominated album Under the Table and Dreaming is dedicated to her. Upon his graduation from St Stithians College high school, he faced a requirement by the South African government to put in two years of compulsory military service. Coming from a devoutly Quaker family, military service was not an option. [2]

Though he also spent time back in South Africa, and also in Amsterdam, it was in Charlottesville, Virginia that he became part of the local music community.[2] Pursuing various interests, Matthews tried his hand on stage, acting in various local productions. While enthusiastic for music, and a popular bartender at a local watering hole called Miller's, Matthews was intimidated by the quality of the local actors and largely shied away from performing publicly. But local star (and future collaborator) Tim Reynolds finally goaded Matthews to join him on stage one night, and Matthews stunned the audience with his performance.[3] This eventually led to his first professional musical gig at a modern dance performance by the Miki Liszt Dance Company, singing "Sensitive Feelings," composed by John D'earth and Dawn Thompson. In 1990 he hatched the idea to form his own band.

[edit] Formation of DMB

Matthews had originally envisioned someone else singing his songs but instead decided to use his own vocals. Yet after writing his first few songs, including "The Song that Jane Likes" and "Recently", he began to consider starting his own band. Matthews formed The Dave Matthews Band in early 1991 with Boyd Tinsley, LeRoi Moore, Carter Beauford, Stefan Lessard, and Peter Griesar (who left the band a short time later) while he was working as a bartender at Miller's in Charlottesville. The band's first gig was on May 11, 1991, at a private rooftop party held by Lydia S. Condor at the Pink Warehouse in downtown Charlottesville.

[edit] Other ventures

In the late 1990s, Dave Matthews was a guest at two Rolling Stones concerts. He helped DMB manager Coran Capshaw found ATO Records in 2000, and he remains one of the principals of that label. Matthews sang on the track "Sing Along" on Blue Man Group's second album The Complex in 2003. Later that year he released a solo album, Some Devil, which went platinum; its single, "Gravedigger," won a Grammy Award in 2004. To support the album, Matthews toured with a group of musicians (most of whom performed on Some Devil) under the name Dave Matthews & Friends. This side project of Matthews continues to be active when DMB is on hiatus.

Matthews is also a close friend of Bela Fleck. Matthews appears as a guest vocalist on Bela Fleck and the Flecktones' 1998 release Left of Cool and both Fleck and Flecktones bassist Victor Wooten have made numerous appearances both live and studio with DMB. The Flecktones also opened for DMB on several tours.

Since 2001, Matthews has been one of the directors of Farm Aid. Matthews owns 1,340 acres of farmland near Scottsville, Virginia named Maple Hill Farm, where he grows organic vegetables, flowers, and herbs through a community-supported agriculture program.[4] Close to the farm, Matthews maintains the four acre Blenheim Vineyards which utilizes gravity flow and other gentle winemaking techniques.[5]

Dave Matthews has also acted in two feature films, with a third on the way. He played Will Coleman in the 2003 adaptation of the novel Where the Red Fern Grows. He also portrayed the character Otis, the timid and shy cousin of the owner of a small pet-shop which he is caring for, in the 2005 film Because of Winn-Dixie, which was based on the novel of the same name. He is currently shooting the independent film "Lake City" with Sissy Spacek and Troy Garity. Also, Matthews guest starred in a 2007 episode of the TV show House called "Half-Wit". In the episode, Matthews plays Patrick Obyedkov, a savant who is capable of playing the piano flawlessly after an accident when he was ten years old. Kurtwood Smith plays his father.

[edit] Personal life

Matthews and his wife, Jennifer Ashley Harper, have twin daughters born in 2001, Stella Busina and Grace Anne. He and his wife are expecting their third child in July of 2007. The family splits their time between Seattle, Washington and Charlottesville, Virginia. Although Dave was raised as a Quaker, he now considers himself to be agnostic.[6]

Matthews is a naturalized United States citizen and identifies strongly with American culture and politics. However, as he stated in his famous essay "My African Heart," "I go back to South Africa at least once a year, sometimes twice, and usually for a month...to both lose myself and gain awareness of myself." [7] On his trips back to South Africa, Dave can often be found frequenting his local bar, the Roxy Rhythm Bar[8] in Melville, a suburb of Johannesburg.

[edit] Equipment

[edit] Discography

[edit] Awards

[edit] Grammys

  • Best Rock Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group (So Much to Say - 1997 - Dave Matthews Band) - WON
  • Best Male Rock Performance (Gravedigger, 2004, Dave Matthews, solo) — WON

[edit] ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards

  • Most Performed Song from a Motion Picture - Where Are You Going (for Mr. Deeds) - WON

[edit] References

  1. ^ http://experts.about.com/q/Dave-Matthews-Band-430/dave-matthews-sister.htm
  2. ^ a b Whitefield, Fredricka (2005). "Profiles of U2 and The Dave Matthews Band" CNN.com (accessed May 3, 2006)
  3. ^ "Driven: Dave Matthews - About the Episode" VH1.com (accessed May 4, 2006)
  4. ^ Food & Wine, October 2005, [1]
  5. ^ http://www.blenheimvineyards.com/
  6. ^ Boston Globe, March 4, 2001, quoted online at The Atheist Alliance
  7. ^ Matthews, Dave (2001). "My African Heart" TIME magazine (accessed June 19, 2006)
  8. ^ http://www.clubroxy.co.za/

[edit] External links

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
Dave Matthews Band
Dave MatthewsLeRoi MooreStefan LessardBoyd TinsleyCarter Beauford
Peter GriesarButch TaylorTim ReynoldsThe Lovely Ladies
Studio albums: Remember Two ThingsRecently (EP)Under the Table and DreamingCrashBefore These Crowded StreetsEverydayBusted StuffStand Up
Live albums: Red RocksListener SupportedChicagoFolsom FieldCentral ParkThe GorgeWeekend on the Rocks
Live Trax series: Vol. 1Vol. 2Vol. 3Vol. 4Vol. 5Vol. 6Vol. 7Vol. 8
The Best of What's Around series: Vol. 1
Singles: What Would You SayJimi ThingTypical SituationAnts MarchingSatelliteToo MuchSo Much to SayTwo StepCrash into MeTripping BilliesDon't Drink the WaterStay (Wasting Time)CrushRapunzelI Did ItThe Space BetweenEverydayWhere Are You GoingGrace Is GoneGrey StreetAmerican BabyDreamgirlEverybody Wake UpSmooth RiderWork It Out (with Jurassic 5)
Solo albums and side projects: In November SunlightLive at Luther CollegeTrue ReflectionsSome Devil
Related articles
ToursThe Lillywhite SessionsWarehouse Fan AssociationMusictodayDave Matthews & FriendsRelease Lillywhite Recordings CampaignTribe of HeavenCoran Capshaw