updated 05.29.2008

Butch Bails on Summer Tour

In a tersely-worded statement on their website, DMB has announced that keyboardist Butch Taylor will no longer be touring with them. Though never a formal member of the band, in the sense that such a thing is ever official, the statement describes him as leaving the band, as opposed to ceasing to support them on tour. The Virginia native performed with the band for a decade. The cause of the split is not yet known.

Dave and Tim to Perform for Obama

In news that will set conservative fans' heads exploding the country 'round, Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds will be performing a concert to support Sen. Barack Obama's presidential campaign. The event will be held this Sunday, April 6, at Indiana University in Bloomington. The concert is to gain support for Obama, not to raise money, so the concert is free. It's open only to Indiana residents, with access requiring a valid state ID. Tickets are available in several locations around the state through Thursday.

Dave to Chat with Dalai Lama

Prior to Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds' Seattle benefit concert for the Dalai Lama, Dave and Lama Gyatso will engage in an on-stage dialogue. A known fan of the Buddhist leader in exile, this has got to be an exciting opportunity for Dave Matthews.

ATO Signs Liz Phair

We don't generally bother to write about ATO Records news here, because there's just so much of it and virtually none of it is of interest to DMB fans. But this is just awesome: ATO has signed Liz Phair, and they're re-releasing Exile in Guyville. The 1993 release is widely seen as one of the greatest albums ever. The ATO release will include four previously unreleased tracks, including "Ant in Alaska" and "Wild Thing," which are widely circulated as part of her "Girly Sound" demos, but apparently were part of the Exile recording sessions. It will also be accompanied by a DVD, which will feature, awesomely, Phair interviewing characters from the Wicker Park, Chicago indie scene, which includes John Cusack and This American Life's Ira Glass. All of this is enough to warrant forgiving Phair for her eponymous 2003 album, which was basically her Everyday.

Envision DMB re-releasing Remember Two Things, only this time without heavily modifying it in production to compensate for the quality of the performance, adding a few bonus tracks, and a DVD of them interviewing some of the other great Charlottesville creative types of the early 90s, and you've got the idea.

Summer Tour Dates, Album Info

In their most informative announcement in many months, the band today announced their tour dates and provided a long-awaited update on the progress on a new album. The summer tour is the same structure and most of the stops that we've seen for a decade, kicking off in Burgettstown, PA in late May and winding up in Berkeley, CA in early September. Opening acts are State Radio, Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings, The Black Crowes, Paolo Nutini, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Michael Franti and Spearhead, Old Crow Medicine Show, Gomez, Ingrid Michaelson, Willie Nelson, TR3, the Eli Young Band, Robert Earl Keen and O.A.R. The Warehouse lottery runs through March 17, while tickets go on sale to the general public on March 22 for most shows and March 29 for the remainder.

There's an eyebrow-raising price hike—the band is apparently experimenting with a new pricing structure, and is selling the best seats for $250 (!) a pop at a trio of shows. For a band that has long objected to high ticket prices, this is a significant change in tack.

Finally, there's news about the new album. The band is on their fifth producer in as many albums, having parted ways with Batson despite having begun their latest album with him. (For more on Batson see our 2005 interview with him.) The latest producer is Rob Cavallo, known for his extensive work with pop punk band Green Day, plus his production for one-time DMB collaborator Alanis Morissette, Chris Isaak and Jewel. Tim Reynolds is back in the game, contributing to the new album, presumably in the form of guitar, which explains how TR3 came to join the tour this summer. (See our 2000 interview with him.) There's no ETA on the long-developing album, but having surpassed the gestation period for the Lillywhite sessions, it has now been in progress longer than any other DMB album.

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