Dave Matthews

Dave goes back with Mike and Houston to before he was a performing musician. Mike's earliest memories of Dave are hearing about him from Tim and Leroi in the mid-80s who kept telling him, "wait until to you meet our friend from South Africa when he comes back to Charlottesville." Turns out, the handsome, charismatic, longhaired actor and bon-vivant was deeply into music and immediately found a bond with Mike via the solo works of Keith Jarrett. Dave knew the music intimately and they shared a note-by-note distillation of the powerful Bregenz concert recording at an early meeting. Dave would go on to sit in as vocalist with Tim's dazzling trio, TR3 on several occasions, in addition to continuing to act and sing in many local productions (including "Bypass," a dance production whose music was written by John D'Earth). At that point, despite total obscurity, it was clear that Dave had star power. Like most people in Charlottesville Dave was a fan of Houston's groove-oriented bass playing, but he was also an early booster of his singing -- an aspect of Houston's talent to later surface on record via Soko: Two. "That voice is going to take you places," he was to tell Houston. Later, Dave and Mike's families were to become next-door neighbors and great friends. One of Soko's most memorable performances was a 1992 opening set at Trax nightclub, opening for DMB. Tim Reynolds sat in with some blazing guitar and Soko's drummer, Johnny Gilmore, played DMB's first set, filling in for Carter who was late returning from the set of Ramsey Lewis' television show, of which he was the house drummer. Later, Mike was to record some piano for an unreleased track during the Crash sessions and Dave recorded the "Jiriki" vocal during that time. For Sokoband's re-recording of the song, an alternate and stronger vocal performance was used. Houston intended to record a new vocal for the song, but after many takes, it became apparent that after all these years, this tune really belongs to Dave.