Dave Mathews

David John Matthews,(born January 9, 1967 in Johannesburg, South Africa) is the Grammy-award 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.

Matthews was born in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1967. The Matthews family consisted of four children: Dave, two sisters (Anne and Jane) and a brother (Peter). Two years later, his family immigrated to Westchester County, New York, where his physicist father went to work for IBM. The elder Matthews encouraged Dave to take piano lessons as a child before he picked up the guitar at age nine. After living in New York, his family moved to Cambridge, England in the early 1970s before returning to the States, where his father died of lung cancer in 1977. In 1980, the family moved back to South Africa, where the young Matthews went to several schools and "got more wise about the evils of government, there and in general." In 1994, his sister Anne died in a domestic tragedy at her home in South Africa. The Grammy nominated album Under The Table and Dreaming is dedicated to her.

Upon his graduation from high-school, he was required to put in two years of compulsory military service, a requirement of the South African government. Coming from a devoutly Quaker family, military service was not an option, and his mother implored University of Virginia to accept her son in honor of his father, who had once worked there in the physics department. So in 1986 Matthews relocated to Charlottesville, Virginia, where his parents had lived before he was born.

Though he also logged time back in South Africa and in Amsterdam, it was in Charlottesville that he became part of the local music community. 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. 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.

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 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 Condor at the South Street Warehouse in downtown Charlottesville.

In the late 1990s, Dave Matthews was a commonly featured guest at 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.

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 provides organic vegetables, flowers, and herbs through a community-supported agriculture program. Close to the farm, Matthews maintains the four acre Blenheim Vineyards which utilizes a gravity flow winemaking technique.

Dave Matthews has also acted in two feature films. He played Will Coleman in the 2003 adaptation of the novel Where the Red Fern Grows. He also portrayed the character Otis in the 2005 film Because of Winn-Dixie, which was based on the novel of the same name.

Matthews and his wife, Jennifer Ashley Harper, have twin daughters born in 2001, Stella Busina and Grace Anne. The family splits their time between Seattle, Washington and Charlottesville. Despite his upbringing, Matthews identifies as agnostic.

Matthews self-identifies as a "White" immigrant American, however, he has been classified by some with the term African-American, since he was born and spent a large portion of his childhood in South Africa. However, as this term is usually reserved for Black Americans, the designation has met with dispute. Semantics aside, Matthews is a legal American 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."

In his spare time, Matthews enjoys being with his family.

Solo discography

* 1999: Live at Luther College (with Tim Reynolds)
* 2003: Some Devil

Guest appearances

* 1990: Imagine We Were by Tribe of Heaven
* 1996: In November Sunlight by Soko
* 1998: Left of Cool by Béla Fleck and the Flecktones
* 1999: Supernatural by Santana
* 2000: Red Dirt Girl by Emmylou Harris
* 2000: Sharin' in the Groove: Celebrating the Music of Phish (Various Artists)
* 2001: Mercury by Thompson D'earth
* 2002: Black Ivory Soul by Angelique Kidjo
* 2002: We Were Soldiers Soundtrack
* 2003: The Complex by Blue Man Group
* 2003: Next by Soulive
* 2003: True Reflections by Boyd Tinsley
* 2005: Haughty Melodic by Mike Doughty
* 2005: Tribe of Heaven by Mark Roebuck
* 2005: Live From Bonnaroo 2004 (Various Artists)
* 2006: Feedback by Jurassic 5


* Best Male Rock Performance ("Gravedigger", 2004, Dave Matthews, solo) — WON


I'm way more American than George Bush and Dick Cheney.

— Dave Matthews, Rolling Stone interview "The Devil and Dave Matthews" (January 22, 2004)

That's the magic of this band: shooting from the hip. The lights have to follow our cues, because we're not going to follow their cues. We're not going to stick to a song the way it's supposed to be. Everything is up to us. That's music to me. That's American music. We're an American band.

— Dave Matthews, Rolling Stone interview "The Boys of Summer" (June 16, 2005)

Remember that there are hundreds of thousands of things you can eat that are not cheese.

— Dave MatthewsPermission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover Texts.
Virtual Magic is a human knowledge database blog. Text Based On Information From Wikipedia, Under The GNU Free Documentation License. Copyright (c) 2007 Virtual Magic. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".

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