Story By Camille Michelotti

Summertime wouldn’t be complete without the feel-good sound of Dave Matthews Band. Here are ten essential Dave Matthews Band tracks to keep you jamming.

“Rapunzel” — Starting off the list strong, this syncopated tune off Before These Crowded Streets will have you tapping your feet and singing along almost instantly. This ode to Dave’s princess features clever lyrics, a blazing horn section, and, of course, a jam sesh to the finish. Give the live version a listen here, preceded as usual by the album intro “Pantala Naga Pampa”:

“Ants Marching” — If you like fiddle solos, this one’s for you. Boyd leads the way on this rollicking track, shredding up the middle and accompanied by the sax to the end. When given a closer listen, the lyrics reflect upon life quickly passing us by. Check it out live at The Gorge here:

“Everyday”– Dave keeps it simple on the title track of their fourth studio album, proclaiming, “all you need is love”. The catchy tune and carefree beat pick this song up from the bottom to the top. Here’s his solo version, live at Farm Aid 2001:

“Shake Me Like a Monkey”– It’s hard to pick favorites off of Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King, but this one makes the cut for its head-bobbing danceability. Plus, it’s fun to sing along to. Give it a try here:

“Funny The Way It Is”– The band gets contemplative in this hit, juxtaposing beautiful moments with sorrowful ones. Their first single off Big Whiskey, this track made a splash in 2009 accompanied by the quirky music video:

“Belly Belly Nice”– The band proved that they still have their chops on their latest studio album, 2012’s Away From The World. With feature sections from all band members, this track is a perfect example of their continuing cohesiveness and success.

“Gravedigger”– Featured on Dave Matthew’s solo debut album Some Devil, “Gravedigger” is a somber reflection on mortality. In an interview with MTV, Matthews said of the song, “It’s kind of these different stories that are brought together by walking through a graveyard with their names and the dates of their births and their deaths, and the stories that came out of their lives.” Live at Radio City with guitarist Tim Reynolds:

“What Would You Say” — No essential DMB list would be complete without this blockbuster. At a show earlier this month in Clarkston, Michigan, the band invited Blues Traveler frontman John Popper to play the harmonica solo on this song, only fitting as Popper was also featured on the original studio recording. Check out the collaboration here:

“Crush” — The iconic intro earns this track a spot on the list of essential Dave tracks. Stefan Lessard’s smooth bass licks combined with the frontman’s heartfelt lyrics make for a perfect slow jam:

“Stay (Wasting Time)”– The ultimate summer song, this DMB classic brings on the sunshine. Now that the Chicago weather is finally “so hot outside, you could fry an egg”, it’s time to put this track in full rotation.


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