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Bartender by Dave Matthews Band

Album: Busted StuffReleased: 2002
  • The lyrics refer to God. In the song, Matthews sings about seeking redemption at a bar in heaven where God is the bartender.
  • Matthews actually was a bartender at Miller's in Charlottesville, Virginia.
  • This was part of the "Lillywhite Sessions," a set of songs the band recorded with producer Steve Lillywhite, but decided not to release because members of the band and record label felt they were too depressing. The sessions were leaked on the Internet and widely bootlegged. The response from fans was great, which prompted the band to release the songs on an album over a year after they were first recorded. The result was Busted Stuff, which was basically a re-recording of the original sessions.
  • This was played in concert many times long before it was released. It is one of the songs on the album that had been tested on the road and was already a fan favorite. Other songs on the album that had been played at shows include "Grey Street," "Where Are You Going," and "Grace Is Gone." (thanks, Live Freak - Beirut, Lebanon)
  • After this was recorded and put on the shelf, Matthews collaborated with producer Glen Ballard on the album Everyday.
  • This was the first album the band recorded without any guest musicians.
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Comments: 10

This was the first song they played after LeRoi Moore (sax) diedTom - Leeds, United Kingdom
This song is best Live at Radio City when its just Dave and Tin Reynolds.Tyler - Clarkesville , Ga
my favorite version is from the concert of july 21, 2001, don't know where it took place, but it's the version they have on youtube with the date 21 july, 2001

Bartender and Warehouse are my favorite, followed very closely by Typical Situation
Mounia - Beirut, Lebanon
God as a bartender... why does that strike me as rather funny? I mean, I know that Jesus turned water into wine ("We need more wine up here, Son!"), but still...Matthew - Milford, Ma
Saw Dave 7 times in one Decade and only heard this song 1 time.Bryan - Syracuse, Ny
Dave Matthews has said this is "an Agnostic song about God".Leon - Waterbury, Ct
this is one of my favorite Dave Matthews Band songs..daves whale at the end gives me the goosebumps evrytime time i hear it...it is probally my favorite song to hear liveJeremy - Clay, Ny
The live version on "Live at Folsom Field" is simply incredible.Ash - Charleston, Wv
wonderousAdeeb - Dhaka, Other
In my opinion, this is one of DMB's most powerful songs, and easily the best song to close an album. The lyricism and the musical arrangements are on an epic scale that DMB had not reached before. Dave's lyrics are brilliant and often times moving, and even after he finishes singing, the brilliant playing of the entire band takes the song to new heights. "Bartender" is a majestic masterpiece, and maybe one of DMB's best...great songJustin - Felts Mills, Ny