Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King is Dave Matthews Band’s highly anticipated new studio album released on June 2, 2009. Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King is also DMB’s first studio album in four years.
Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King includes many firsts, which both scares and excites the die-hard fans. Most importantly, Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King is the first studio album since the passing of founding member of Dave Matthews Band and saxophonist LeRoi Moore. It is also the first studio album in four years since Stand Up in 2005. Guitarist and long time friend Tim Reynolds is included in the album and last was heard on 1998’s Before These Crowded Streets. Rashawn Ross will make his first appearance on a DMB studio album since joining as a touring member in 2006 as will Jeff Coffin of Béla Fleck & The Flecktones, who has taken LeRoi Moore's role since June 2008. Keyboardist Butch Taylor does not appear on the album, as he left the band in the spring of 2008. The producer of the album is Rob Cavallo who has worked with Alanis Morissette and Green Day, among others.
Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King was originally slated to be released on April 14, 2009 with a show at New York City's Madison Square Garden to celebrate the release. Fans were originally promised “first-ever live performances” of the new album during the sixteen-stop Spring 2009 tour promoting Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King. In mid-February, Dave Matthews Band pushed Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King's official release date after the Spring 2009 tour to June 2, 2009 which disappointed many fans who purchased tickets to the spring tour.
The albums title Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King was first announced in an email sent to the Warehouse Fan Association members on Feb. 26, 2009. Dave Matthews Band official Web site posted it the following day. “GrooGrux" is a nickname for the late LeRoi Moore given to him by his friends. Rashawn Ross mentioned that on his MySpace page after LeRoi’s passing. Cater called LeRoi “Grux” in a video posted by Stefan Lessard called How We Have Fun Before The Show. On February 22, Dave Matthews teased the title via his Twitter page “...still here dancing with the Groo Grux King. We'll be drinking big whiskey while we dance and sing. When I get to the end, I'm gonna end…." Dave Matthews Band fans have closely followed Dave's twitter page hoping for more glimpses into Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King.
Dave Matthews Band used three recording studios during the process of making Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King. The most recent was Piety Street Recording Studio in New Orleans, La where they finalized the Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King starting in January 2009. Before that, Dave Matthews Band used Studio X in Seattle, Washington from October to December 2008 and Studio Litho in Seattle, Washington in February of 2008. LeRoi Moore passed away during pre-production of Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King.
Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King track list contains 13 tracks. Tim Reynolds said “This new record will be familiar sounding, but there will be some new twists." mentioning the addition of Jeff Coffin on the saxophone and Rashawn Ross on the trumpet. "I think we'll bring a fresh burst of sound to the band. We have Rob Cavallo producing us…. He's really pushing the DMB and it's already very interesting." Initial feedback from the Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King has been very positive.
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