The Dave Matthews Band remains one of the most popular groups on Earth.
The band has made millions of dollars from touring the globe and has played for just about as many fans along the way. From their popular weekend shows at the Gorge in Washington to acoustic shows with friend and collaborator Tim Reynolds south of the border in Mexico, Matthews is a fan favorite seemingly wherever he goes.
The band has also put out nine albums, seven of which have gone No. 1.
DMB is known for hits like “Crash” and “#41” but what about the group’s more obscure songs? What are the best deep cuts? How can you impress the biggest “Dave” fans with your in-depth knowledge of the artist and his cohorts?
That’s what we’ll dive into here today.
1. “Out Of My Hands”
From the band’s sixth studio album, Stand Up, this song showcases Matthews’ piano playing skills. It’s a spare track. For a group known for its boisterous, extended jams, this is a big turn. It’s mournful, worried, and pensive. It’s also an arrow to your heart.
2. “The Song That Jane Likes”
This song is a fan favorite. It first appeared on the band’s debut LP, Remember 2 Things, which was also a live album and not a studio offering. Since then, it’s never found its way on a studio LP and Matthews only breaks it out live ever so often. The title of the track comes from his sister, Jane, who, well, liked the song. It’s a quirky tune mentioning the Jack of Spades and other curious characters.
3. “Christmas Song”
The best version of this tune comes from the band’s live LP, Live in Chicago 12.19.98 at the United Center. It’s a lovely holiday tune but it also gets pretty real, talking about the relationship between Mary and Joseph as they look for a room at the now-fabled Inn. It’s a thoughtful song and very much signature Dave, despite its obscure nature these days.
4. “Little Thing”
This song showed up on the famed acoustic double disc with Reynolds, Live at Luther College. For Dave fans, this is a must-have recording. One of the oddest songs amidst the few dozen is “Little Thing,” which is a guitar-driven story about Matthews (presumably) encountering a woman he falls for but who walks away. It’s a heartstrings tune and very dreamy in its composition.
This lively song comes from the album, Big Whiskey & the GrooGrux King. It’s got a lot of energy and once in a while, Dave Matthews Band breaks it loose for live shows. It’s got a great acoustic riff and Matthews seems energetic on the song. In short, he comes alive when he plays it. Big Whiskey didn’t have a ton of hits, but this one hits the level for sure.
Photo by Terry Wyatt/Getty Images for Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival