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Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King

4.4 out of 5 stars 282 customer reviews

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Audio CD, June 2, 2009
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Editorial Reviews

2009 release, the first studio album in over four years from American singer/songwriter Dave Matthews and his trusted band. Produced by Rob Cavallo, Big Whiskey & The Groogrux King is the follow-up to 2005's Stand Up, which was the fourth consecutive DMB studio set to enter the Billboard Top 200 at #1. DMB have sold more than 35 million unites (CDs and DVDs combined) and show no signs of slowing down. 12 tracks.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 2, 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Rca
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (282 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,521 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
"These songs are some of the strongest ones we've done in a long time."
- Boyd Tinsley

"He [Leroi Moore] would always say, `Take it to the next level.' That's what we've done here. We've taken it to the next level."
- Dave Matthews

"It was time to unleash the tiger."
- Carter Beauford


The first time I heard songs from "Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King" was at the May 29 show at Fenway Park. Listening to live versions of songs like "Seven," "Why I Am," "Squirm," and "Time Bomb" immediately had me and my friends thinking "Whoah... this album is different. This album is going to be GOOOOOD!"

And it is. It's REAL good. I've been listening to the CD for a solid week, and I can say that it is, by far, DMB's best album in over a decade. They haven't played with this level of passion and tenacity since their back-to-back classics "Crash" and "Before These Crowded Streets" from the late 90s.

It's not hard to figure out where the intensity comes from. In 2008, DMB experienced a serious double whammy. First, they nearly broke up due to interpersonal struggles, "toxic" energy, and a lack of leadership (according to Dave). This was followed by the tragic death of founding member and horn-player extraordinaire Leroi Moore.

The result? A massive reboot of purpose and energy. With the help of Green Day producer Rob Cavallo, the Dave Matthews Band has once again found their "A" game. "Big Whiskey" is the sound of a band that is NOT mailing it in... instead, they sound like musicians that are psyched to play together and ready to go for it (to "unleash the tiger," as Carter says in the DVD documentary.)

The opening notes of the CD is a sublime Leroi solo, a voice from the past calling us forward.
Read more ›
12 Comments 73 of 79 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
First of all, let me just say that I am NOT one of those sycophants who automatically give anything by Dave Matthews Band five stars and just rave about how they're the best and anything they do is just the greatest thing ever. While I don't think "Stand Up" and "Everyday" were as bad as some of the reviews I've read, those albums were obviously not their best work. So I was anxious (and a little nervous) to see what this album would bring.
I needn't have worried; Dave Matthews Band are back with a vengeance. There is an energy, a vibe, a passion, a groove that is present on this album that had been missing on the stuff that followed "Before These Crowded Streets". I've read that there were tensions in the band over the last couple years, and that at one point they were on the verge of breaking up. If that's the case, I guess it's true that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. After "Grux", a prelude showcasing since-departed saxophonist LeRoi Moore, the album kicks right into "Shake Me Like a Monkey", a flat-out rocker that allows the whole band to shine. After that, the album never really lets up; other stand-out tracks include "Funny the Way It Is", "Why I Am", "Alligator Pie" and "Seven". There are others great songs too but I've only listened to the album once so I haven't tied all the titles to all the songs yet.
Bottom line: if you've ever liked Dave Matthews Band at any point in their history, you will really like this album. They've got their fire back, and they know it: I watched the show they did at the Beacon Theatre in NYC last night, and you can really tell they love these songs and are having fun playing together again. Pick this album up, and I promise you won't be disappointed.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I bought the Deluxe edition with the "Making of Big Whiskey" DVD. I wanted to share what's on the DVD since it's not specified on Amazon. That way, you can make your own determination whether you want to pay extra for it:

Runtime - 29:17

Packaging - Trifold with artwork on all panels. CD in one panel, lyrics and liner notes booklet in middle panel and DVD in last panel.

Contents - Behind the scenes look at the making of the album. Consists mostly of interviews with all bandmates, producer and session musicians interspersed with snippets of the recording sessions at different studios around the country. There are no full-length videos of complete songs. You get the gist of how the album was put together, but it's not a completely linear narrative, more like snapshots.

About 17 minutes in, the DVD becomes a tribute to late bandmate Leroi Moore. Some of the bandmates' remembrances are very touching. There are also some interesting tidbits, like Dave Matthews drew the cover artwork and the GrooGrux King bears a slight resemblance to Moore.

Altogether, it was enjoyable viewing, especially for someone like me who doesn't always read the fine print in the liner notes. However, I doubt I will be viewing it over and over like a performance video.
Comment 33 of 34 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
After Stand Up came out a couple of years ago, I thought my love for the Dave Matthews Band had run its course. While that album eventually grew on me, it was easily the band's weakest album to date (including Everyday, which was actually just wasn't The Lillywhite Sessions).

Now some critics out there are calling this "The Best Album Yet" and I won't go that far: Before These Crowded Streets was a masterpiece. If anything, this album is a second masterpiece. Springsteen had Nebraska and Born to Run, U2 had the Joshua Tree and Achtung Baby. This album succeeds in a way that most bands' best albums succeed: This album is familiar...but at the same time, remarkably different.

Where BTCS utilized cellos and other stringed instruments to create a very dark feel, this album is all about Stefan and Carter. It is the good way...and that isn't an hear Cameo screaming at you in the opening riffs of the first track...BTCS was polished...this album is raw. They complement each other perfectly in the band's repertoire.

What sets this apart from Remember Two Things, Under the Table and Dreaming, Crash, Everyday, Busted Stuff and Stand Up is that this album is simply album. Whereas the others were compilations of songs recorded at the same time and placed on the same CD without too much rhyme and reason (see what I did there?)...this album, like BTCS, is masterful when listened to as a whole.
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Is Dave Matthews overrated?
The band is fantastic, he's overrated and exhausting and his lyrics are lame. And you cannot use the "...then why are you listening?" comment towards me because I am definitely NOT listening. Most people had the positive review written before they heard the record because DMB followers... Read More
Jun 11, 2009 by Steven C. |  See all 21 posts
What's on the DVD?
I believe it will be behind the scenes and studio work according to Joe Lawler.
Mar 7, 2009 by B. Stinnett |  See all 3 posts
Is this album copy protected like "Stand Up" is?
Nope - no problems at all. I think they learned their lesson...
Jun 2, 2009 by B. Shutes |  See all 2 posts
Which DMB made this album?
It's more like Busted Stuff in the sense that the lyrics can be depressing at times. Not as uplifting as either Crash or Before These Crowded Streets. Regretably, it also has fewer possibilities for extended jams during live performance than their 90s albums. BUT, this is a very good album... Read More
Jul 15, 2009 by Christopher Downing |  See all 6 posts
Live Trax?
The LT 15 is a Music Today exclusive pre-order item. With standard shipping for their pre-order, the total is $75.
May 23, 2009 by R. Pioquinto |  See all 2 posts
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