Funny the way it is, when you think about it…

Ok, that’s not a lyric from this album, its from Big Whiskey, but its unsurprisingly a commentary if you’ve read this far into these posts. This is the fourth post out of 31 that focus on my life and memories of Dave Matthews Band. I could have included more; in fact, I likely could have done a post every day for a year about my memories with them, but I don’t want to turn every one of the very few readers of this blog away.

This was my introduction to DMB and likely should have been my introduction to this series, but its still a fitting end as all things come back around again. We return to the beginning to wrap this series up.

Summer between my freshman and sophomore years in college and Ants Marching lands on my radio, likely either going or coming home from my summer job. I was blown away because no one in the popular media plays a band with a saxophone in the line-up anymore. That went away in the 70’s (the 80’s only heard the soprano sax and we refuse to admit Kenny G to the cool kids club) and just wasn’t done, yet here it was, used unconventionally and exceptionally. I was hooked.

Curtis, yes it always comes back around to him, who at this time was little more in my life than a passing acquaintance, ended up at a music festival that summer where I was helping chaperone a group of youth. We bumped into each other, caught up for a minute or two, then he said, “Hey, have you heard this new band…” to which I interrupted “DAVE MATTHEWS! I HAVE THE ALBUM IN MY CAR!” His response? “Lets ditch these no talent bands and go listen to some real music.”

An hour or so later, after no words had been exchanged through the entire length of the album, we looked at one another and released a collective sigh of satisfaction. That, was some amazing music. We then proceeded to spend another hour flipping between tracks, talking about our favorite lyrics and licks, dissecting the CD from front to back.

The guys who had previously been friends of friends, little more than acquaintances, were suddenly bonded into fast friends and would be for the following 4 years.

When you think about it, there are really very few things in our lives that end up turning us on to new paths and we almost never realize them at the time when they occur. I certainly didn’t recognize this budding friendship as anything more than a guy I looked up to having a common interest as me, yet so much of my life has been put on the path it is on from our conversations and shared love of this music.

Until the day I die, I believe that I’ll be seeing his face and hearing his voice, specifically his laugh, whenever something musically interesting passes into my realm. Its been almost 20 years since we were in each other’s presence, the day of our college graduation, and his presence has not diminished. This, is a very good thing.