Formed in 1991 by vocalist and guitarist Dave Matthews in the state of Virginia, the Dave Matthews Band offers a true mix of rock, jazz, folk and world music and, along with other band members Stefan Lessard, Leroi Moore, Boyd Tinsley and Carter Beauford, they’ve found huge success around the world.
The band started playing in and around Virginia, mostly at clubs and colleges. Their mix of rock and world-beat sensibility, and their obvious enthusiasm and love for not just music but touring, have made the Dave Matthews Band one of the most popular on tour and successful since the early 1990s.
Interestingly, Matthews isn’t from the United States and all but actually was born and raised in South Africa where he learned almost everything he knows about music on his own. Not surprisingly, his musical background is heavily influenced by South African rhythms. In the late 1980s he came to the States and started assembling a group of musicians, and soon they put together a demo tape that led to their being discovered.
Like many musicians beforehand, Matthews was a humble bartender before he became the world-famous rock icon that everyone knows today. That didn’t stop him from approaching some of the people that he considered to be the best in the music business when he got started, including Leroi Moore who was already playing jazz at many locations around Virginia when Matthews first met him.
When he met Carter Beauford Mathews was impressed by how well he could play, something that wasn’t surprising since he’d been playing jazz drums ever since he was little boy. He also been in a fusion band called Secrets until 1990 and before that had been a regular on the jazz circuit in Virginia.
It was there that Dave Matthews found him and became one of his biggest fans, eventually leading to the two of them working together. Another person who was very well respected before he joined the Dave Matthews Band was Stefan Lessard, a bass player and another jazz circuit regular. He plays electric bass for the band today and is an electrifying performer.
Then there’s Boyd Tinsley, who, before he got into rock ‘n roll, was actually a classical violinist. He even had a band named after himself, the Boyd Tinsley Band but after meeting Matthews, decided to join forces with him instead. A regular on many of the bands LPs and occasionally on tour is guitarist Tim Reynolds, who will more than likely be touring with the band this summer.