Formed in the early ’90s by South African vocalist/guitarist Dave Matthews, the Dave Matthews Band presented a more pop-oriented version of the Grateful Dead crossed with elements of jazz, funk, and the worldbeat explorations of Paul Simon and Sting. Matthews populated the group with several Virginia-based musicians — bassist Stefan Lessard, saxophonist Leroi Moore, violinist Boyd Tinsley, drummer Carter Beauford, and short-lived keyboardist Peter Griesar — and the band built up a strong word-of-mouth buzz by touring the country constantly, with special attention paid to college campuses.
Griesar left the lineup in March 1993, but the Dave Matthews Band moved ahead in his absence, releasing the independent album Remember Two Things later that year and issuing a live EP, Recently, in 1994. After fielding offers from major labels, the band signed with RCA and released the debut effort Under the Table and Dreaming in September 1994. By the following spring, the record had launched the hit single “What Would You Say” and sold over one million copies, thus setting the stage for an extremely successful career