Song: “Satellite”

Artist: Dave Matthews Band

Album: Under the Table and Dreaming

Bear McCreary’s excellent arrangement of Bob Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower” for Battlestar Galactica led to an interesting discussion of which artist has recorded the best interpretation of the song. Jimi Hendrix? Michael Hedges?

In the comments section of last week’s post, quite a few people nominated the Dave Matthews Band’s version of the folk staple. While I love DMB’s reading of the song, I decided to feature a more Science Fiction appropriate track for this week’s Tuesday Tune….

For the past decade, it has been easy to take the Dave Matthews Band for granted. They’ve been so popular for so long that I think many people forget just how unique and amazing they sound.

“Satellite”, from the Under the Table and Dreaming album was released in 1994. This was at the height of the grunge era; when Nirvana, Alice in Chains, and Soundgarden ruled the airwaves. Nothing else sounded quite like “Satellite” at the time. Featuring a lilting compound time signature and flowing saxophone and violin lines, “Satellite” literally sounded like it was from another planet when compared to the sludgy guitar riffs of the time.

Much is made of Dave Matthews’ use of the acoustic guitar. While lots of rockers of the time strummed their way through a few ballads, Dave Matthews redefined the way that the instrument could be used. Never one to resort to simple open chord strums, Matthews spryly plucked circular ostinatos and buoyant chordal riffs to power the band’s string of memorable hits.

Now it’s your turn: What’s your favorite Dave Matthews Band song?

Who’s your favorite band that features non-traditional rock instruments like the violin?

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