A mere days before the Dave Matthews Band (DMB) sets out on its extensive 52-date North American summer tour, which begins on May 30,...

A mere days before the Dave Matthews Band (DMB) sets out on its extensive 52-date North American summer tour, which begins on May 30, keyboardist Butch Taylor, who has toured with the band since 2001, has decided to leave the group in a sudden and unexpected move.

News of Taylor’s departure was posted on the band’s website Tuesday, where it said, “We are saddened by this sudden news, but he has our full support. He’s given so much to us and our audience through the years, and he will be missed.” No further information was given.

Although Taylor was never a formal member of the band, he was viewed as a permanent sixth member, performing on both live and studio albums since 1998.

Before the formation of DMB, Taylor played in a band called Secrets with DMB’s drummer Carter Beauford and longtime DMB friend and guest guitarist Tim Reynolds.

Over the years, Taylor has also composed many scores for television and feature films.

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