(idea submitted by Samantha D.)
Of all the bands and musical acts that have Jewish Young Adult support, all of them have some connection to the faith in one way or another, be it through youth movements, being raised orthodox, or having an Israeli parent. One band that has bucked this trend is the Dave Matthews’ Band.
Dave Matthews himself is not even remotely Jewish, being raised a Quaker, and neither are any of the members of his band. None of them went to Sunday School, and none of them spent any formative time at Ramaz or USY summer camps. Yet the Dave Matthews Band (DMB for short) has been part of the JYA repertoire for years, even since the early years when they were part of the Jam Band circles.
What is interesting about JYA’s and their affinity for DMB is that it is very limited in scope. Every JYA will recognize practically every song from the first two albums, and some may even recognize a few tracks from the third, but anything beyond 1998 is a complete blur, even though the band released three complete studio albums since then and has been touring extensively.
Therefore, the Dave Matthews’ Band remains one of unsolved mysteries of JYA fascination. Many theories have been proposed on the matter. One possible explanation is that JYAs formed an affinity for DMB in the early years when they toured with another JYA favorite, Phish. Another explanation is that JYAs like to tout their approval of DMB as a way to seem more indie-cool. One last explanation is that possibly JYAs have an affinity for DMB because they want to connect with Non-Jews.
Whatever the explanation, the music of Dave Matthews and his band, from 1994 to 1998, will forever be hummed unknowingly in the showers of JYAs from coast to coast.