Dave Matthews Band, the
- Heather Laurel
Rock group formed in 1991 by the songwriter Dave (David John) Matthews (b Johannesburg, South Africa, 9 Jan 1967; guitar and vocals) in Charlottesville, Virginia. Matthews recruited Carter Beauford (b Charlottesville, 2 Nov 1957; drums and vocals), LeRoi Moore (b Durham, NC, 7 Sept 1961; d Charlottesville, 19 Aug 2008; saxophones), Steffan Lessard (b Anaheim, CA, 4 June 1974; bass), and Boyd Tinsley (b Charlottesville, 16 May 1964; violin and vocals). Cutting across stylistic backgrounds, including jazz and rock, the musicians formed an unconventional rock ensemble that drew a loyal local fan base. Its alternative instrumentation, emphasized by the lack of electric guitar, made the group a surprising candidate for the large-scale commercial success that followed. The band has spent much time on tour, incorporating long improvisatory jams into their concerts, which have been more representative of their sound than their studio recordings. From their earliest days, they have allowed fans to record their live shows, helping foster their wide following. Their first major-label release, ...