Biography

The South African-born (b. 1967) alternative rocker Dave Matthews burst onto the international music scene in the early to mid-'90s with his ensemble, the Dave Matthews Band, and swept up a rabid and formidable global following, replete with several multiple-platinum albums. He culled a particularly broad fan base among college students, thanks in no small part to his exhaustive tours of the campus circuit. To create its wholly unique sound, the group seamlessly blended Matthews' emotive delivery with intense and occasionally racy lyrics (such as their single "Crash"), and utilized an inventive musical blend of jazz, pop, world rhythms, and traces of folk. Throughout, they also demonstrated heightened musical skill to rival such contemporaries as Blues Traveler and Hootie & the Blowfish. Like many popular musicians, Matthews' motion-picture work, of course, falls predominantly into two categories: concert films and soundtrack contributions. The band's concert films began to appear in 1999, with The Dave Matthews Band: Listener Supported, a set performed at the Continental Airlines Arena in Rutherford, NJ. The ensemble also issued Live at Folsom Field in 2002 and The Central Park Concert in 2003, and participated in the all-star music events Farm Aid 2003 and From the Big Apple to the Big Easy: The Concert for New Orleans (a relief concert for Hurricane Katrina victims); all of the aforementioned specials received home-video issues. The group contributed its most memorable soundtrack work to two films: the 1997 horror picture Scream 2, which featured the single "Help My Self" (on an otherwise dull list of musical selections) and the Adam Sandler farce Mr. Deeds (2002), which prominently featured the hit single "Where Are You Going" from the remarkable Matthews album Busted Stuff (2002). Matthews himself (sans the band) branched out into dramatic roles with two children's pictures -- an unusual and unpredictable choice, given the typical age of his fans in the musical realm. He played the father of the lead in the gentle coming-of-ager Where the Red Fern Grows (2003), about the relationship between a boy and his hunting dogs, and portrayed Otis in the Wayne Wang-directed animal comedy Because of Winn-Dixie (2005). He would also appear in subsequent movies like You Don't Mess With the Zohan and Just Go with It. ~ Nathan Southern, Rovi