Daily Progress


DMB Home Coming Issue
April 17-23, 2001

Landmark events

Locals had their chance to catch pivotal shows
By Hawes Spencer, C-ville Weekly Editor

Eastem Standard Tuesdays
: Site of the first regular gig. An enterprising bartender named Mark Roebuck decided he could earn more tips if the slowest night of his week was sparked by an open mic. Beginning around 1990, Roebuck's friend Dave was a frequent presence. On Monday, January 22, 1991, Roebuck gets a call at the restaurant. Would he mind if one of the Indigo Girls came by to jam?

"I just said, 'Bring it on.' They didn't come over until about one. Dave was just there hanging out. He got up there and sang 'All Along the Watchtower' -- an amazing version. The Indigo Girl was floored, it was an amazing night. I kept it open until 3am."

Matthews and keyboardist Pat Griesars soon became frequent Monday night visitors. Sometime that summer, Roebuck guesses it was June, his friend Dave said something about organizing a band. Without ever hearimg them play, Roebuck gave them a slot. "I said, 'hey man I've got Tuesdays open.'"

The pay: "Fifty dollars a night -- and all the alcohol they could drink."

The band set up in the back of the restaurant near the bathrooms. By the time the gig was first mentioned in C-VILLE (August 6, 1991), DMB was "packing the place" says Roebuck. Unfortunately, bartender Roebuck was soon packing his bags. Sometime in late August or early September the owners of Eastern Standard canned him.

"They said I was too irresponsible -- and I probably was." Roebuck says the band graciously told him they were moving over to Trax to protest his firing.

Tax Tuesdays: There's a lot of conflicting information out there on the date of the first Trax show. Publicist Ambrosia Healy pegs August 21, 1991 as the first DMB show at the cavernous, beer-drenched music palace. However, C-VILLE's files show that night belonged to blues great Koko Taylor with special guests is Dennis Guinana..., Judy Coughlin, Gary Taylor, and Bill Blodgett. ("I know they didn't play before us," says Coughlin today.) Based on our files, we'd venture that the first DMB concert at Trax -- at least as a headline act -- was Friday, September 20, 1991.

Mark Roebuck and The Deal become DMB trivia.