Music: And The Band Plays On...

Dave Matthews and his mates are the biggest touring rock group in the U.S. Now their eagerly awaited album will show if they can stay the course

Dave Matthews answers the door of his house, acoustic guitar in hand. "Sorry I didn't hear you at the door before," he says. "I've been practicing. These new songs are kicking my ass." Matthews is loved by many but not by all. The people--music-downloading, Temptation Island-watching ordinary folks--love Dave. The Dave Matthews Band is the hottest rock act on the road, and its new CD, Everyday (RCA), is hotly anticipated. But critics are divided. Some admire the group for its lack of pretense, its knowledgeable embrace of world-music influences, its mastery of concert performance in an age when a teen hottie...

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