In Matthews's Steps

“We try to capture the musical variety and spiritual energy of a Dave Matthews concert,” says singer-guitarist Mike Myrdal of his tribute band Stepping Feet. The group has jammed with Matthews associates such as harp player John Popper, who played on Dave Matthews Band recordings such as “What Would You Say.”

“It was a private party in San Francisco during Super Bowl weekend [200?],” says Myrdal, “and one of the organizers arranged for John to play a few songs. He played solo with a guitar for some new songs, which were impressive and heartfelt. But the whole time he played he kept looking over at us; he seemed eager to sit in and rip some solos on his signature harmonica. We weren’t sure how many songs he wanted to do with us, so we started with ‘What Would You Say.’ After the song, he turned to me with his arm raised for a high five, and I must’ve had the hugest smile on my face.”

Stepping Feet saxophonist Dan Boissy has kept in touch with Popper. “Who knows where that might lead? All we know is that it made for one memorable trip to San Francisco.” Our queries were answered by Myrdal and Boissy, along with Jennifer Spingola (violin), Sam Johnson (bass), and Kevin Dooley (drums).


Myrdal: “Tool, Aenima. Their use of syncopation is always impeccable. Listening to this CD reminds me of the power, the unpredictability, and the exhilaration of sitting through a violent thunderstorm.”

Boissy: “Stanton Moore, All Kooked Out! Moore is a New Orleans cat, most known as the drummer for Galactic.”

Spingola: “I rarely listen to entire albums anymore. Instead I find myself checking out artists on MySpace, just to see what’s out there.”

Johnson: “Modest Mouse. I like them ’cause they’re different, with a quirky sound that I crave at times.”

Dooley: “Thrice, The Illusion of Safety. These guys are incredibly talented, from the captivating vocal harmonies and thoughtful lyrics to the polyphonic guitar lines and impeccable drumming.”


Myrdal: “Eddie Van Halen is the reason I play the guitar today. I swear, Eddie looked me in the eye and gave me the thumbs up one night at a show at the Centrum in Worcester.”

Boissy: “James Brown might have been a pain to work with, but he sure was funky.”

Johnson: “One of my favorite artists is Wayne Shorter.”

Dooley: “I discovered the Smashing Pumpkins during those angst-ridden formative teenage years.”



1) Spy Game. “Robert Redford and Brad Pitt deliver fantastic performances in this spy thriller.”

2) There’s Something About Mary. “I almost soiled myself due to prolonged laughter during this movie.”

3) Donnie Brasco. “I love movies based on true stories.”

4) Almost Famous. “Something every musician can relate to.”


1) The Big Lebowski. “My favorite Coen Brothers movie.”

2) Big Trouble in Little China. “One of those movies you can watch over and over.”

3) Fight Club. “Love the look and feel of the picture.”

4) Office Space. “Reminds me why I don’t work for anyone.”


1) Meet the Parents. “Anyone who knows me knows I watch this movie at least once a day.”

2) The Notebook. “It’s such a romantic love story, though I’m sure the boys in the band are rolling their eyes right now.”

3) Die Hard. “Everyone needs a little John McClane in their life.”

4) Flashdance. “I loved this when I was a kid.”


1) Karate Kid. “Now, it’s just funny.”

2) Shawshank Redemption. “I love that movie, especially since it takes place in Maine, where I’m from.”



1) Golf Digest. “I’m practicing for the senior tour.”

2) Men’s Health. “Great health tips and also high on unintentional comedy.”


1) Entrepreneur Magazine. “I own my own vegan meal-delivery service.”

2) Fast Company. “Good stuff on business.”

3) Wired. “I like to keep up with the techie stuff.”



1) “Junk food.”

2) “Sleeping in.”

3) “Sci-fi movies.”

4) “Heavy-metal music.”


1) “Any dessert with peanut butter.”

2) “A good hefeweizen.”

3) “Bowling.”

4) “Buying shoes.”


1) “Watching The Bachelor.”

2) “Watching Lost.”


1) “Computer games are just addictive.”

2) “Buying CDs, especially obscure stuff.”

3) “Old ’80s movies with really bad acting.”


1) “Watching Grey’s Anatomy. That’s right, ladies, I watch Grey’s Anatomy.

2) “Singing along with terrible pop songs on the radio.”

3) “Sipping maple syrup.”

4) “Chasing birds.”


Myrdal: “, for the discount golf.”

Boissy: “YouTube has great old-school jazz clips.”

Spingola: “I love because I can watch TV episodes without commercials.”

Johnson: “ has anything I want.”


Myrdal: “The Hotel del Coronado is great for a casual cocktail and beautiful scenery.”

Spingola: “You might catch me wandering the aisles and reading the labels at Whole Foods.”

Johnson: “The Wild Animal Park and the Zoo are like being somewhere else.”


Myrdal: “I am the real-life Larry David from Curb Your Enthusiasm.”

Boissy: “I once carried a 203 bowling average and bowled 11 strikes in a row.”

Spingola: “I’ve been on three overseas tours, playing music for our troops.”

Johnson: “I used to have really long hair.”

Dooley: “I can’t tell you.”

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FIRST BOOK READ? Myrdal: “The Little Engine That Could.”

Boissy: “It was either the Hobbit or Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”

Spingola: “A Christmas book we kept in the attic with all the ornaments and decorations.”

Johnson: “Probably something by Dr. Seuss.”

Dooley: “Some scratch-n-sniff book. Why can’t all books be scratch-n-sniff?”

SIMPSONS OR FAMILY GUY? Myrdal: “Homer can’t be topped.”

Boissy: “Family Guy.”

Spingola: “Family Guy.”

Johnson: “I like the fat guy, he’s funny.”

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