Music Monday: Dave Matthews Band Live Trax 11 SPAC

Other themes on other days maybe, but I won’t ever have trouble coming up with content for Music Mondays. The difficulty on these days will be which artist or album to choose. I started off with Jim Avett’s Gospel Album, but today I have to go with Dave Matthews Band. Going with DMB because my great friend is moving to Montana this week, and he is the one who got me listening more deeply to Dave.

Me and my boys from high school went to see Dave in December of 1995. It was back when there were record stores–at the mall ours was called the Sound Shop–and we had a friend who worked there. So Toph got on the computer and punched into Ticketmaster and got us several 2nd row tickets for the old Charlotte Coliseum. It was a great show! But it’s the only time I ever saw DMB in concert.

The album Crash is significant to me because I listened to it so much when I was a freshman at Davidson College–mostly while I was doing things other than being at Davidson College. Yeah, that story will likely find its way into a Friday Flashback at some point.

I’ve listened to Remember Two Things, Under the Table and Dreaming, Crash, and Live at Red Rocks 1995, but I never went past that until I started sitting on the porch with Daveed. And he introduced me to Live Trax.

I’m pretty stubborn… I know breaking news, right 🙂 I am especially picky and stubborn about my music. I rarely like something right off the bat, but once I like it, I dive in. And that was the case with the Live Trax. The album I want to highlight today is Live Trax 11 SPAC.

The show was on 8.29.00 and starts off with a blazing The Stone. Those horns! And with lyrics like “I was just wondering if you’d come along, to hold my head up when it won’t hold on” the thought and reflection wheels start spinning out of the gate. Ryhme and Reason, Don’t Drink the Water, and then arguably the best DMB tune #41 follows.

Songs like Grace is Gone and JTR and The Maker… oooh. The Maker. Those lyrics will hit deep. These were songs I hadn’t heard before this latest venture into the band, and these few along with Bartender and Digging a Ditch on this particular live trax are really quite something. The lyrics to Digging a Ditch are a message for our time for sure.

There are other classics on the album too, but it is the Lie in Our Graves that really sets this one apart. The song itself is fantastic, but there are fiddle and piano solos during the last several minutes that will send you to another place. Butch Taylor really shows out on the piano on this one.

In the past several months my son Sam has also gotten into these Live Trax, and we often compare favorite tracks from these shows, and have even collaborated on a playlist called appropriately “The Best of What’s Around.”

The horns. The fiddle. The drums. The guitar. The piano. The lyrics. The vocals. Yeah… if you haven’t listened to these Live Trax from DMB or even if you have, Trax 11 from SPAC in Saratoga Springs, NY is worth a few hours on a sunny day while lounging about. Or perhaps on a very small segment of your drive from North Carolina to Montana.

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