Big Whiskey & The GrooGrux King

Big Whiskey & The GrooGrux King

4.3 31
by Dave Matthews, Dave Matthews Band
     
 

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Tragedy has a way of putting everything into perspective, a truism that's brought into sharp relief by the Dave Matthews Band. LeRoi Moore, the group's saxophonist, died in 2008, something that shook the DMB to their core and they've responded as any working band does: by carrying on, playing gigs -- including one on the day of his passing -- and finishing the album… See more details below

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Overview

Tragedy has a way of putting everything into perspective, a truism that's brought into sharp relief by the Dave Matthews Band. LeRoi Moore, the group's saxophonist, died in 2008, something that shook the DMB to their core and they've responded as any working band does: by carrying on, playing gigs -- including one on the day of his passing -- and finishing the album they were recording at the time of his death, turning Big Whiskey & the GrooGrux King into a tribute to their fallen comrade. By saluting his spirit, DMB wind up returning to their roots, jettisoning any of the well-manicured crossover pop of Stand Up and reviving the loose-limbed jams that were their '90s specialty, a sound they've largely abandoned -- at least on record -- since 1998's Before These Crowded Streets. During that long, long decade between Before and Big Whiskey, DMB remained one of America's biggest bands even though much of those ten years found Matthews working through various existential crises -- things got too big so he pulled away from the band, turned out a dark solo record, then came back -- and his namesake band drifted along with him. Here, everything snaps back into focus: what was glossy is now clean and unvarnished; there is no avoidance of their rangy, loping rhythms or predilection for elastic solos; and these signatures -- shunned on record, not on-stage -- are embraced warmly, given muscle, and married to the dark undercurrents that have flowed throughout Matthews' new-millennium writing. Surely, Moore's early death weighs heavily here -- he is the GrooGrux King of the album's title and there are many allusions to him in lyrics -- but Matthews also ties in references to Hurricane Katrina and war, all as part of his wide-open meditations on mortality and morality. Not all of Big Whiskey is about death: there is an equal amount of love tunes, plus one of Matthews' casually vulgar sex songs, all celebrating enduring relationships, providing a counterpoint to the waves of melancholy. But what makes Big Whiskey & the GrooGrux King the Dave Matthews Band's richest, and quite possibly best, album is the implicit message that all the love and loss can be felt and shared through the music, that the creation of the music itself is the reason why they're here -- and that's not just a moving tribute to LeRoi Moore, it's a reason for the band to keep moving on.

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Editorial Reviews

Rolling Stone - David Fricke
[Saxophonist LeRoi] Moore died early in the sessions for Big Whiskey, before the bulk of the album was made with producer Rob Cavallo in New Orleans last winter. The sudden loss hangs over this record's startling punch like one of that city's humid summer rains....Cavallo, working with DMB for the first time, has brought some of the classic-rock edge of his hit records with Green Day and My Chemical Romance to Matthews' arena-size spin on early-Seventies Traffic... Big Whiskey, though, is a lot like a New Orleans funeral parade, mourning and zest balled into big, brawny music.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/02/2009
Label:
Rca
UPC:
0886974871217
catalogNumber:
748712
Rank:
22350

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Dave Matthews   Primary Artist,Guitar,Vocals
Dave Matthews Band   Primary Artist
Sid Page   Violin
Danny Barnes   Banjo
Charlie Bisharat   Violin
Jacqueline Brand   Violin
David Campbell   Strings
Jeff Coffin   Saxophone
Joel Derouin   Violin,Concert Master
Christine Ermacoff   Celli
Alan Grunfeld   Violin
Armen Ksadjikian   Cello,Celli
Dane Little   Cello,Celli
Jamie Muhoberac   Organ,Keyboards
Tim Pierce   Guitar
Vladimir Polimatidi   Violin
Kim Scholes   Cello,Celli
Josefina Vergara   Violin
Miwako Watanabe   Violin
Rob Cavallo   Organ,Piano
Carter Beauford   Percussion,Drums
Susan Chatman   Violin
Joe Lawlor   Guitar
Stefan Lessard   Bass,Bass Guitar
LeRoi Moore   Saxophone
Tim Reynolds   Guitar
Boyd Tinsley   Violin
Suzie Katayama   Cello,Celli
Natalie Leggett   Violin
Roger Manning   Keyboards
Nico Abondolo   Bass,Double Bass
Darrin McCann   Viola
Laurence Greenfield   Violin
Roberto Cani   Violin
Philip Vaiman   Violin
Rashawn Ross   Trumpet
Roger Joseph Manning   Keyboards
Alyssa Park   Violin
Andrew Duckles   Viola
Gerardo Hilera   Violin
Sharon Jackson   Violin
Steve Richards   Cello,Celli
Rudolph Stein   Cello,Celli
Michele Richards   Violin
Karen Elaine   Viola
Robert Brophy   Viola
Victoria Miskolczy   Viola
Chris Ermacoff   Cello
Mario de León   Violin
Matthew Funes   Viola
Timothy Eckert   Bass,Double Bass

Technical Credits

Dave Matthews   Composer,Art Direction,Illustrations
David Campbell   Arranger
Doug McKean   Engineer
Rob Cavallo   Producer,Audio Production
Carter Beauford   Composer
Stefan Lessard   Composer
LeRoi Moore   Composer
Tim Reynolds   Composer
Boyd Tinsley   Composer
Jerry Johnson   Drum Technician,Sax Technician
Eric "Bigg EE" Porter   Bass Technician,Instrument Technician
Craig Baker   Guitar Techician
Rashawn Ross   Composer
Henry Luniewski   Drum Technician
David Paul Campbell   String Arrangements,String Conductor
Valerie Abbott   Original Photography
David J. Matthews   Composer

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