Dave Matthews Band Big Whiskey And The Groogrux King (Super Deluxe Edition) (3-CD Box Set)
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- Number of Discs: 3
- Released: June 2, 2009
- Originally Released: 2009
- Label: RCA
Spin - p.91"GROOGRUX is harder edged and more bottom heavy than DMB's usual fare....A fond, funky farewell."
Billboard (p.53) - "[T]his eulogy is a celebration, and BIG WHISKEY is a dense, humid album that, befitting its New Orleans origins, shrewdly cuts its melancholy with exuberance and vice versa."
Q (Magazine) - p.1273 stars out of 5 -- "[T]his latest effort almost shows signs of discipline: four-minute song structures and melodies that realise the benefit of economy."
Paste (magazine) (p.58) - "[With] touching and tasteful tributes....The band takes some sonic risks and shows continued versatility on songs like 'Alligator Pie'..."
Tracks on Disc 1:
- 2.Shake Me Like a Monkey
- 3.Funny the Way It is
- 4.Lying In the Hands of God
- 5.Why I Am
- 6.Dive In
- 9.Alligator Pie
- 11.Time Bomb
- 12.Baby Blue
- 13.You & Me
Tracks on Disc 2:
- 2.Beach Ball
- 3.Little Red Bird
- 4.Write a Song
Tracks on Disc 3:
- 1.Scenes From Big Whiskey
Dave Matthews/Dave Matthews Band: Dave Matthews (vocals, guitar); Boyd Tinsley (violin); LeRoi Moore (saxophone); Stefan Lessard (bass guitar); Carter Beauford (drums, percussion).
Additional personnel: Joe Lawlor, Tim Pierce (guitar); Danny Barnes (banjo); Alyssa Park, Philip Vaiman, Alan Grunfeld, Laurence Greenfield, Sharon Jackson , Michele Richards, Mario de Le¢n, Gerardo Hilera, Vladimir Polimatidi, Joel Derouin, Sid Page, Jacqueline Brand , Roberto Cani, Natalie Leggett, Josefina Vergara, Susan Chatman, Miwako Watanabe, Charlie Bisharat (violin); Victoria Miskolczy, Matthew Funes , Karen Elaine, Robert Brophy , Darrin McCann, Andrew Duckles (viola); Rudy Stein, Chris Ermacoff, Kim Scholes , Suzie Katayama, Armen Ksadjikian, Dane Little, Steve Richards (cello); Rob Cavallo (piano, organ); Jamie Muhoberac (organ, keyboards); Roger Manning (keyboards); Timothy Eckert, Nico Abondolo (double bass); Arthur Robinson.
Audio Mixers: Chris Lord-Alge; Doug McKean.
Audio Remasterer: Ted Jensen.
Recording information: Electric Lady Studios, New York, NY; Haunted Hollow Studio, Charlottesville, VA; Lightning Sound Studio, Hidden Hills, CA; Piety Street Recording, New Orleans, LA; Studio Litho, Seattle, WA; Studio X, Seattle, WA.
Illustrator: Dave Matthews.
Photographers: Sam Erickson; Jeff Coffin; Danny Clinch.
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 an ATV accident 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 sox 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. [This Deluxe Fan Pack edition includes a bonus four-track CD entitled Little Red Bird and a bonus DVD featuring a documentary entitled Scenes from Big Whiskey.] ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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