Dave Matthews Band: Musically Speaking

Dave Matthews Band know that the only way to keep things fresh is to engage in a unique musical conversation each time they step onstage. But in a world of smartphones, social media and general impatience, it is increasingly hard for bands to capture—and keep—an arena full of people’s attention, especially if that band specializes in long, jazz-oriented solos and jams. But somehow, DMB have not only managed to keep fans’ attention, but also create an environment where improvisation is more important than radio hits. Tom Moon hit the road with the veteran band during their recent winter tour and figures out how these seven musicians have kept their conversations engaging, night after night, for more than 20 years.

Yonder Mountain String Band: This Is (Almost) 40

After 15 years of constant touring, Yonder Mountain String Band have emerged as one of the scene’s most prominent jamgrass acts. They have packed Red Rocks, shared the stage with bluegrass royalty and even anchored their own destination events. But as the band’s four members hover around age 40 and start their own families, they face a new set of personal challenges. Four years after the release of their last full-length studio album—and in the wake of a roots-music revival—Yonder have also started to question the best ways to continue making and releasing music. Benjy Eisen spent time with the group in Mexico and explains how a band that blurs the lines between jamband and bluegrass plans to spend the next stage of their career.

Antibalas: The Beat Goes On

Though they didn’t invent Afrobeat, Antibalas have been synonymous with the genre in certain circles for nearly 15 years. They’ve performed with true African music pioneers, released genre-defining recordings and participated in a smash musical based on Fela Kuti’s life on Broadway. Away from the band, the generation of young, funky musicians who drift in and out of Antibalas’ orbit have collaborated with some the biggest names in rock, pop, hip-hop and jamband music. But despite all of their success, Antibalas are still a band of working musicians. Executive Editor Mike Greenhaus caught up with them as they promoted their new, Gabe Roth-produced studio album.

Tame Impala: The Perks of Being a Loner

Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker has done more than almost anyone to put Australia’s psych-rock renaissance on the map. Not only have Tame Impala emerged as one of the modern psych rock scene’s biggest success stories, but they are also at the center of a blossoming scene filled with Australian bands poised to crossover into the indie mainstream in the coming year. But despite his newfound success, Parker remains a shy loner, most comfortable recording on his own and hesitant to share his lyrics even with his band members. Sam Davis explains how an introverted, Australian musician managed to help bring psychedelic music back into the U.S. mainstream.

Plus: Chuck Leavell, Johnny Marr, Local Natives, Dumpstaphunk, Vusi Mahlasela, Toro Y Moi, Thao Nguyen 40 years of classic Grateful Dead shows and much more!

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