“Good music is good music, and everything else can go to hell.” Dave Matthews
Dave Matthews is, above all, famous as the frontman of the Dave Matthews Band (DMB), with whom he enjoyed success through such songs as the Grammy-winning “So Much to Say” (from the album Crash, 1996), “The Space Between” (from the album Everyday, 2001) and the award-winning “Where Are You Going” (from the album Busted Stuff, 2002). The band earned two Grammy nominations for their musical efforts.
Branching out to a solo career, Matthews released the platinum album Some Devil (2003). It later brought him a Grammy Award for the single “Gravedigger.” The singer also tried a different sphere with a screen role in the movie Where the Red Fern Grows (2003, as Will Coleman) and Because of Winn-Dixie (2005, played Otis). He will also be seen in the upcoming drama Lake City (2007).
Outside the recording studio, Matthews is one of the directors of Farm Aid. He owns a four-acre vineyard and farmland near Scottsville, Virginia, which provides organic vegetables, flowers, and herbs through a community-supported agriculture program. The singer has twin daughters from his marriage with Jennifer Ashley Harper (2000-now).
Childhood and Family:
David John Matthews (later known simply as Dave Matthews) was born on January 9, 1967, in Johannesburg, South Africa, to a physicist named John Matthews and a painter/architect named Val. When Dave was two, he and his family immigrated to Westchester County, New York, where his father worked for IBM. After his father died of lung cancer (1977), the family moved back to South Africa. In the 1980s, Dave relocated to Charlottesville, Virginia, and studied at the University of Virginia.
Dave, who learned how to play piano and guitar as a child, entered the local music community when he became a bartender at a jazz club. He was finally convinced by musician and future collaborator Tim Reynolds to focus on his musical talent.
On August 10, 2000, Dave married Jennifer Ashley Harper. With Jennifer, the artist has twin daughters named Grace Anne and Stella Busina (born on August 15, 2001).
“We just enjoy ourselves and I think the tightness comes from just knowing each other. No two takes in the studio ever sound the same either, when we’re in there, so it’s sort of the same thing. No two nights repeat themselves too much.” Dave Matthews on the Dave Matthews Band (DMB)
After speaking to Boyd Tinsley, Leroi Moore, Carter Beauford, Stefan Lessard and Peter Griesar, Dave Matthews decided to form a band simply named “Dave Matthews Band” in the early 1990s. They did several local performances before recording an indie album titled Remember Two Things (1993), which apparently caught the attention of major label RCA Records.
DMB (Dave Matthews Band’s famous acronym) made their major label debut with Under the Table & Dreaming (1994) and scored immediate success thanks to the hit single “What Would You Say.” Besides going multi-platinum, the album also brought in a Grammy nomination for the group. It was then followed by a second multi-platinum album Crash (1996), which arrived at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 chart. It set off the Grammy-winning single “So Much to Say” and the hit track “Crash Into Me.”
DMB, who officially announced their battle against bootlegging, launched the best-selling live album Live at Red Rocks 8-15-95 (1997) and soon saw it certified platinum. The group’s second concert album, Listeners Supported, was released a year later. Also in 1998, DMB issued the studio album Before These Crowded Streets. Debuting at No.1 on the Billboard 200 chart, DMB’s third major recording also earned a second Grammy nomination.
In 1999, Matthews teamed up with longtime friend Tim Reynolds and performed in a show. The collaboration was recorded in Live at Luther College: An Acoustic Performance by Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds (1999). He also became a frequent guest in several Rolling Stone concerts in the late 1990s and a co-founder of ATO Records (with DMB manager Coran Capshaw, in 2000).
Rejoining his band, Matthews worked on the Glen Ballard-produced album Everyday (2001), spawning “I Did It” and “The Space Between.” Later, the band’s single “Where Are You Going,” from the album Busted Stuff (2002), won an ASCAP award for Most Performed Song from a Motion Picture after being featured in the Adam Sandler-starring romantic comedy Mr. Deeds (2002).
Meanwhile, after performing “Sing Along” for Blue Man Group’s album The Complex (2003), Matthews launched his solo career with the album Some Devil (2003). In addition to receiving platinum status for his album’s sales, the singer also won a Grammy for Best Male Rock Performance for Some Devil’s single “Gravedigger.” Still in 2003, Matthews attempted acting with a role as Will Coleman in the drama movie Where the Red Fern Grows, screened at the 2003 Tribeca Film Festival.
2004 saw Matthews and his band members join Bruce Springsteen’s “Vote for Change” tour and release the concert album series Live Trax, as well as work on a new album called Stand Up. Released in May 2005, Stand Up enjoyed heavy rotation for its first single “American Baby.”
In 2005, Matthews had a second acting experience in the adaptation of the novel by Kate DiCamillo titled Because of Winn-Dixie, where he portrayed a man named Otis. He is now filming the drama Lake City, scheduled for release in 2007. Other cast members of the movie include Sissy Spacek, Colin Ford, Rebecca Romijn and Troy Garity.
- Grammy: Best Male Rock Performance, “Gravedigger,” 2004
- ASCAP: Most Performed Song from a Motion Picture, Mr. Deeds, “Where Are You Going,” 2003