May 19, 2023 -NEW YORK (AP) — Ten studio albums done, the Dave Matthews Band finds itself in a good place, maybe even at a new beginning.
“The band is really gelled right now,” says singer-songwriter and guitarist Dave Matthews. “We’re all, at least for now, shining favorable lights on each other and laughing a lot and enjoying making music together.”
The seven members — including new keyboardist Buddy Strong — released the 12-track album “Walk Around the Moon” on Friday — the band’s first studio album since 2018 — and plan a summer tour.
“We’ve come to this place in an interesting way, but it wasn’t unnatural,” says Matthews. “We’ve had some good fights that probably would scare people but with the goal being that we could find some common ground. And I think we did.”
“Walk Around the Moon” is a varied set, with the tracks veering from small and intimate to brassy and political, with a filthy groove propelling “Break Free,” a nostalgia-tinged and brooding “Monsters” and the band absolutely cooking with “The Only Thing.”
Most of the songs were written during the pandemic, with members sending audio files to each other, which may explain why the sound is so eclectic. They didn’t initially plan for an album; it sort of just happened.
“I look forward to taking this band together in one room to make another record,” says Matthews. “I’m jumping the gun because having made 10 does feel like, if nothing else, we haven’t found anything better to do. Everyone could probably find a gig somewhere else. So it says something that we haven’t left each other yet. ”
The jam band, with their mix of funk, folk-rock, jazz, blues and pop, are hoping to add to their catalogue of seven No. 1 albums and hits like “American Baby” and “The Space Between.”
The pandemic hit the Matthews household at a chaotic time — his daughters starting college and his son starting high school. The Matthews family was lucky to be able to escape into the woods near his Virginia home.