Music lovers in the US can be forgiven for wondering whether Canada has ever produced any important composers, since very little Canadian music is heard down here. This disc provide a small sample of what is actually a large body of significant work waiting to be discovered.
First of all, don't be misled by the "chamber orchestra" designation here: these are all big, extroverted pieces in which sonic spectacle plays a big part. Andrew MacDonald's Violin Concerto is in the 19th-Century virtuoso tradition, pitting the soloist against a busy, brass- and percussion-laden orchestra in a real stamina contest. The solo part sounds flatly impossible, but hearing is believing–thanks to Lord knows how much ………Fred Granlund @ Amazon.com
The Best of What's Around Vol. 1, also known as TBOWA Vol. 1, is a greatest hits compilation album by the Dave Matthews Band that was released on November 7, 2006. The two-disc set is the Dave Matthews Band's first ever greatest hits album featuring twelve studio tracks on the first disc, and eight previously unreleased live tracks on the second disc.
Matthews Southern Comfort is a transitional album for Matthews. Having recently exited Fairport Convention, this record pays tribute to that period of his career in both material ("A Castle Far") and in the choice of musicians who back him (many of them from Fairport Convention). At the same time, songs like "A Commercial Proposition" indicate where Matthews' future work is headed. With Second Spring, the other album included on this two-fer, Southern Comfort is a real band, and in addition to Matthews also includes Roger Swallow (ex-Marmalade) and Marc Griffiths (ex-Spooky Tooth). Although there is really nothing that makes this a memorable record, it's still quite nice overall.
The Dave Matthews Band may not have released the Lillywhite Sessions – the semi-legendary soul-searching album recorded in 2000 but abandoned in favor of the heavy-handed, laborious Glen Ballard-produced Everyday – but they couldn't escape its shadow. Every review, every article surrounding the release of Everyday mentioned it, often claiming it was better than the released project – an opinion the band seemed to support by playing many numbers from the widely bootlegged lost album on tour in 2001. Since they couldn't run away from the Lillywhite Sessions, they decided to embrace it, albeit on their own terms. They didn't just release the album, as is. They picked nine of the best songs from the sessions, reworked some of them a bit, tinkered with the lyrics, re-recorded the tunes with a different producer (Stephen Harris, a veteran of post-Brit-pop bands like the Bluetones, plus engineer on U2's All That You Can't Leave Behind), added two new songs, and came up with Busted Stuff, a polished commercial spin on music widely considered the darkest, most revealing work Matthews has yet created.
On their major-label debut, Under the Table and Dreaming, the Dave Matthews Band is helped by the lean production of Steve Lillywhite, who manages to rein in the group's tendency to meander. The result is a set of eclectic pop/rock that is accentuated by bursts of instrumental virtuosity instead of being ruled by it. That also means that the Dave Matthews Band is capable of turning out pop songs, and as the hit single "What Would You Say" and "Ants Marching" illustrate, they have a flair for catchy hooks.
After five straight solo recordings with producer Mark Hallman at the helm – going back to 1988 – Iain Matthews decided to handle the production duties, along with guitarist Bradley Kopp, for 1999's Excerpts from Swine Lake. Whereas his last couple of recordings lived and died with his writing or vocals, here Matthews and Kopp inject the material with a vibrance that has been somewhat scarce in his work since 1990's Pure & Crooked. It also doesn't hurt that this is as consistent a collection of original music that he's put to record.
After a two-month tour in 1999, Dave and Tim closed their acoustic run on the evening of March 13 at the Berkeley Community Theater in Berkeley, CA. The duo’s time on the road leading up to this night shows as the performance is exceptional. From the first note of the “Granny” opener, to the encore of "Digging A Ditch”, "Lover Lay Down", and "Ants Marching,” there is not an ill note throughout. And yet, it’s not only DMB favorites that shine; but also Tim’s skilled playing of his complex original compositions, as well as fantastic covers of Daniel Lanois’ "For The Beauty of Wynona" and Lyle Lovett’s "If I Had A Boat", make this show a true listening pleasure. This intimate performance has been mixed from the original multitrack tapes.