The Dashboard Saviors are an Athens, GA-based roots-rock band consisting of songwriter/vocalist/guitarist Todd McBride, Michael Gibson (guitar), Rob Veal (bass) and John Crist (drums). R.E.M.'s Peter Buck, a longtime champion of the band, produced the Dashboard Saviors' debut album, Kitty. The group's songs often delve into sketches of small-town Southern life, as titles such as "Coach's Wife" and ''A Trailer's a Trailer" would suggest.
Leader Todd McBride grew up listening to country radio and such genre-defying '80s West Coast roots-rockers as Green on Red and Dream Syndicate. McBride's uncle was in a country and western band, and early on McBride decided that kind of life was for him. Before the Dashboard Saviors, he was in a group called the La Di Da's, which also consisted of fellow Athens notable Vic Chesnutt. It was through that group that McBride first became acquainted with Peter Buck. Buck not only produced and played on Kitty -- he also helped the Dashboard Saviors land a record deal with the Minneapolis-based label Medium Cool. Buck had taken Medium Cool's founder, Peter Jesperson (onetime manager for the Replacements), to see the group at a local Athens gig; Jesperson was impressed enough to make the Dashboard Saviors one of his first signings. Subsequently, McBride (who had been an office supply salesman) and the rest of the group were able to quit their day jobs and hit the road in their van. The group's sophomore effort, Spinnin' on Down, arrived in 1993, while Love, Sorrow, Hatred, Madness followed in 1995.