Calling all Dave Matthews fans … The Dreaming Tree is coming to Utica


Dreaming4The Dave Matthews Tribute Band – The Dreaming Tree is taking over Shots this Saturday, Feb. 28. The Dreaming Tree is more than just a tribute band they are performers that are here to move you with their sounds and lyrics. You will hear a wide arrangement of DMB songs from all their hits old and new. Get your dancing shoes ready for a night of nonstop music and the smooth sounds of Dave. Music kicks off at 9 p.m. at Shots Sports Bar, 700 Varick St. Utica, N.Y. and it’s only $5 for admission.

The drummer and founder of The Dreaming Tree Ryan Puckhaber took a few moments to answer some questions for The Fuze that all of you are dying to know about him and the band!



Have you ever met Dave Matthews or the Band in your travels?

Ryan P:

Several of us have met Dave and the band a number of times. More so early on in our bands formation when we were really going to a lot of shows. It’s tough to have an opportunity now to see the band when were out on the road cause our paths rarely cross. Part of what makes DMB so popular with their fans is their accessibility to the fans so encounters with the band are plenty. Carter (the drummer from DMB) invited me on his bus once when in Toronto and a couple of the band members have been Boyd’s (violinist) guests at shows.



Who was the brain child for the tribute band and how was it formed?

Ryan P:

It was formed by me in 2000. At first it was just something to do because I was tired of playing along to CD’s and Radio in my bedroom. So I set out to find a singer, violinists, bass etc.. I probably auditioned 10-15 singers before going to check out our singer Ryan Clifford and former Dreaming Tree guitarist Pete Thomas performing their acoustic tribute to Dave and Tim Reynolds at a bar in Buffalo, NY called Mr. Goodbar. I instantly knew I found what I was looking for. So the search for musicians to fill out the rest of the band was on. Once that was nailed down after a long exhaustive search, we cooped ourselves in my mom’s basement and just jammed out. Once we realized we might be better at this then I think we initially anticipated, we started entertaining the idea of playing out. We got our first gig booked and it took off…next thing you know we were playing too sold out rooms and the rest is kind of history. I assure you I NEVER expected the band to still be doing this in 2015 and in many ways it still keeps getting bigger and better. I’m very proud of this band and I’m equally proud of the work our singer Ryan Clifford has done with another tribute band The Dave Matthews Tribute Band which you can see members of the Dreaming Tree playing with as well.



Has anyone listened to you and mistaken you for the real thing?

Ryan P:

This happened twice that I can remember. Once in West Virginia when DMB wasn’t as big of a name as it is now, people in the crowd were asking for autographs and we couldn’t figure out why. Then we overheard people telling other people in the crowd how they got Dave Matthews autograph or a drumstick from the drummer of Dave Matthews Band. It was bizarre to say the least. A few of us were in Panama City, Panama with DMTB a couple years ago playing a gig. It was a bit more intense then the West Virginia experience. People were scalping tickets to our show and after the show; people we met were so enthusiastic in meeting us that it was obvious they thought we were the real band. As a result of the language barrier we had a real hard time explaining to them we were just the tribute band. It was a sight to see that’s for sure



What has been one of the craziest moments you have had on the road?

Dreaming3Ryan P:

Me and singer Ryan Clifford have been playing together since 2001 – both in The Dreaming Tree and The Dave Matthews Tribute Band. Hands down the craziest experience we have ever had together was last summer when we were asked to go on tour in Europe and play for the troops at several different military bases across Europe. We played shows in Germany, Italy, Spain, and The Netherlands. The military, specifically Navy Entertainment, treated us so well and it was truly a first class experience. The thing that catches you off guard is that they were so wide eyed about us playing for them but at the same time, we found ourselves so appreciative and wide eyed about what they were doing for us. Our show in Rammstein, Germany was in front of over 10,000 people. I don’t think I will ever forget that. We would play a show, get shuttled off to our tour bus and on to the next show. It was at that moment that I realized it was probably the biggest it could get.  I like to think The Dreaming Tree was sort of the seed that started this whole tribute band scene you see now. While in Europe I think me and Ryan both found ourselves wondering how it even got to be this big. I give a lot of credit to Ryan. His business sense and dedication really has become integral to this crazy ride.



What can people expect at the show? New, old or both?

Ryan P:

We really challenge ourselves in this band. We don’t sit on our hands in between shows playing the same stuff over and over. We’re constantly studying live DMB. Of course in a bar setting like Shots versus maybe a theatre show, you have to play your fair share of hits. No matter how old some songs are, people still want to hear them at every show. I don’t think we have ever played a show where we didn’t play Ants Marching…there is just no way around it. We also added electric guitarists, Stefan Wadja to the band when DMB reinserted Tim Reynolds into their lineup. He has been such a key component to allowing us to play the newer stuff because it’s so electric guitar based. People will probably here at least one song from every album DMB has made.



What keeps bringing you back to Shots? And, what do you love most about the area?

Ryan P:

Without a doubt it’s the atmosphere of the gig. It reminds us of the early days where it was all about the party and having a good time with best friends on stage. Ironically, our first show was at a place in Buffalo, NY called Big Shotz on Chippewa St. Shots is setup similarly and the crowds are very similar. Some of the bigger venues we play have a real corporate vibe to it, everything is so calculated. Shots, you show up, play the best you can and enjoy the party.  When we had discussion with Bob Seward, owner of Shots, it was obvious that they were really looking for a quality DMB tribute act and were so happy we were able to work it out. The staff there is so nice and the people in the crowd are always so into the music. You can usually tell what type of crowd you’re going to get right off the back. At Shots it just has always been good vibes and I think it’s reflected in our performance. We are in discussions with them for some summer dates and to play a Saranac Thursday event this summer.


The band consists of:

Ryan Clifford – Singer/Acoustic Guitar, Rob Mineo – Violinist, Chris Abramo – Saxophone, Eric Stachewicz – Bass, Stef Wadja – Guitars, and Ryan Puckhaber – Drums.

Guest members:
Derryck “D-Sharp” Gleaton – Violin.


[symple_box color=”blue” text_align=”center” width=”” float=”none”]If You Go:
What: The Dave Matthews Tribute Band – The Dreaming Tree
When: 9 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 28
Where: Shots, 700 Varick St., Utica[/symple_box]


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