Under The Table And Dreaming ReIssue CD or Download - Dave Matthews Band

2020 Album Draft- Round 6- Pick 10- MSJADELI selects- Dave Matthews Band- Under The Table.

The draft will be taking a Labor Day weekend break and will be back on Tuesday with the first selection in Round 7.

I’m sure I bought this album after hearing one of the singles from it on the radio. Once purchased it stayed on the player for a long time. It’s one of those albums you can just lay back and get into and get a lot of enjoyment out of. It’s wonderfully jazzy without going overboard. The musicians who play on it are first class and know how to give the tunes just the right spin for the occasion. I love it as much for Dave’s voice which he injects with attitude and humanity, both of which are extremely alluring to hungry ears.

Under the Table and Dreaming is the debut studio album from the Dave Matthews Band, released on September 27, 1994. The album’s first single was “What Would You Say”, featuring John Popper of Blues Traveler on harmonica. Two other singles from the album followed, “Ants Marching” and “Satellite”. By March 16, 2000, the album had sold six million copies, and was certified 6× platinum by the RIAA.

The acoustic guitar tracks on the album were played by Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds. During the recording sessions, Matthews and Reynolds would sit face-to-face with a piece of glass between them, playing the same guitar part. This was done twice for each song, resulting in four acoustic guitar tracks (two from Matthews, two from Reynolds) all playing the same part on each song.

The album was dedicated ” In memory of Anne ” for Matthews’ older sister Anne, who was killed by her husband in 1994 in a murder–suicide.

Track Breakdown:

The Best of What’s Around –Staccato drums get this album rolling; wonderful horns; “round”vocals.

What Would You Say – funky guitar riff and harmonicas; party atmosphere; great sax and harmonica solos.

Satellite– Aural ecstasy! The repeating guitar duet intro mesmerizes while listening to the sheer poetry of the lyrics.

Rhyme & Reason– The ticking beat shows the monotony of passing time for someone trapped in the agony of thinking too much. “My head won’t leave my head alone.”

Typical Situation -The theme here is the question of fitting in or standing out. “If you don’t get in line, we’ll lock you away.”

Dancing Nancies –My favorite song on the album, it deals not only with existential angst, but it shows how a shift in perspective can get you through it. “Could I have been anyone other than me?” I love the way Dave uses pauses, emphases, etc. to sing the same line in different ways. The chorus/refrain is exceptional as are the violin and sax.

Ants Marching– It’s about the rat race, but here they are ants marching.

Lover Lay Down– Soft, sweet poetry, an aching love son. :::Happy sigh:

Jimi Thing –When asked what Jimi Thing meant, “ [Dave Matthews] said … it was a temporary song title that stuck. “ It was kind of reminiscent of the early days of Jimi Hendrix, and we didn’t have any names for any of the songs, so we called it the ‘Jimi thing.’ “ Scrutinizing the lyrics in light of some recent statements Keith Richards made in his book (which I’m still reading – dense material!) I have to think it’s about using mind-altering substances to get through whatever. We see where it got Jimi… but at the same time, Keith is still kickin it (pun intended.)

Warehouse -The tension in the music is set right off the bat with guitars and violin. Dave’s voice is echoing out distress. In come the horns and knocking percussion. To me the song sings about someone who is too far gone in all realms (physical, mental, spiritual) and looks at death as relief.

Pay for What You Get– Very soft jazz lament for lost love. It says that words are meaningless in some situations.

#34 is excellent jazz fusion! Wikipedia says, “It is the only instrumental track on the album although it was played live with lyrics on nine occasions in 1993, prior to the band taking it to the studio. The band originally recorded the song with lyrics, but they were removed from the final album cut.”

Dave Matthews Band

Carter Beauford – drums, percussion, vocals

Stefan Lessard – bass guitar

Dave Matthews – vocals, acoustic guitar, design assistant

LeRoi Moore – alto, soprano, and tenor saxophone; vocals; flute

Boyd Tinsley – acoustic violin, vocals.

Additional personnel John Alagía – additional vocals on “Dancing Nancies” and “What Would You Say” Steve Forman – additional percussion on “Typical Situation” Michael McDonald – additional vocals on “Dancing Nancies” and “What Would You Say” Andrew Page – additional vocals on “Dancing Nancies” and “What Would You Say” John Popper – harmonica on “What Would You Say” Tim Reynolds – acoustic guitar, electric guitar Jeff Thomas – additional vocals on “Dancing Nancies” and “What Would You Say”


  1. I’ve never had any Dave Matthews/DMB albums but I do like almost all the songs I hear from them on radio. I could well imagine this would be a good, lay back and relax album with songs like “Ants Marching” and “What would you Say?” on it.
    I remember once hearing a buddy of mine who was a drummer in a band (his PT gig) talking about them, saying he and most musicians he knew loved them because of their expertise in playing and little unexpected jazzy twists and turns but at the same time, Matthews added in a bit too much random ad-libbed lyrics and riffs to appeal to the masses. But record sales would say otherwise about the appeal.
    A nice writeup, Lisa!

    • Thank you, Dave! I was trying to find a live version of one of the songs, but I noticed that very thing (too much random ad-libbed lyrics) and so stuck to the studio versions. This is my only album of theirs but one of these days would like to expand the collection. Thanks again, for your comment and extra info on the band 🙂

  2. I have some Grateful Dead and Phish fans as friends. Most of them like them but they are a little different because of more radio hits. Also, they go with the Allmans that I had yesterday…music to sit back and enjoy instead of just hunting down songs.
    Your review makes me want to give this one a listen! Thanks Lisa.

    • Nice that you compare them with ABB, and I wouldn’t call this a concept album per se, but agree on listening to it as a whole. Give it a shot, Max, and see what you think. Thank you.

  3. I can listen to anything from Dave Mathews Band. I don’t have any of their albums, and I don’t know the songs by name, but it always sounds good to me. That’s a cool visual of the guitar players playing to each other through the glass. They radiate dynamic energy. I enjoyed the samples, and am heading to Youtube to pull up some more of this album.

  4. Dave Matthews Band is another whose songs I’ve always liked, but have never fully listened to any of their albums all the way through. One of the things I like about him and his music is his totally unique style and sound, not to mention his distinctive singing voice I find so incredibly pleasing. Nice write-up Lisa.

Comments are closed.