Separate names with a comma.
Discussion in 'Band Wagon' started by jguitarman, Jan 10, 2017.
Would you mind sharing your setlist?
Our band does a mix of country, country rock, and blues rock. Depends on the night and the crowd.
Brooks and Dunn, Vince Gill, Merle Haggard, Blue Rodeo, The Band, SRV, Jimi, ZZ, Clapton. It's all country if you play a Tele and wear boots ain't it.
We're on the East Coast of Canada.
We decided, as a blues/rock, southern rock band, for the territory, we should take what we truly "like" about country, and if it's catchy, play that. Johnny Cash, Willie, Chris Stapleton, Dwight Yoakam, etc. It's a good blend with The Kentucky Headhunters, Allman Brothers, Blackberry Smoke, Skynyrd, Marshall Tucker, Molly Hatchett, Ozark Mountain Daredevils. We do Dead Flowers by The Stones, but I've got it reworked into more of a modern electric country version... I particularly like using my bender on Six Days On The Road how Sawyer Brown did it... We've been kicking around Amos Moses at practice.
Mostly old style country, with some old (really old) RnB, swing, and such...8-12 gigs a month...
Play 75% bass, 25% lead guitar in same band...occasionally bring the C6 console steel just for grins
Original Americana with a lean towards country.
I front an old school country band. We play honky-tonk, outlaw and bluegrass. Lots of Hank, Waylon, Merle, J Prine, G Jones, D A Coe, L Flatt, C Dainels, M Tucker, .... We have been playing for 3 years. We play once or twice a month.
Stuff we cover includes Steeldrivers/Chris Stapleton, Merle Haggard, Neil Young, Ryan Adams, Jason Isbell, Bob Wills, Traveling Wilburys, Tom Petty, among others. And we even manage to sneak in a couple originals.
Basically, stuff we like to listen to. Surprisingly enough, other people seem to like it, too.
Man, I wish I lived much closer to you guys!! I'd ask for an audition!!! Right now, I'm stuck playing original stuff with the current band I'm in. We do throw in cover songs but - very rarely - and I miss playing them.
I guess the follow up question is...
Drum Roll Pleeze...
How many of us are really country pickers ?
I can count on two hands( thats 10 fingers) the # of guitar players I know and work with that actually play all the proper intro's to, for EX, Merle Haggard songs. Such as Swinging Doors. I don't have enough fingers or friends fingers to count how many guitar players who say they play country such as Merle songs who DON'T play the appropriate parts.
I've heard people tell me I am wasting my time with those type of phrases, I should play my own thing. They say there is no originality to playing it like the records. What that really means to me is they never took the time to learn the parts, for whatever reason.
Drum Roll Pleeze...
If you know the parts, you have the option of playing them like the records OR doing your own thing. Playing covers, especially in the country genre , there is a certain element of playing the MUSIC to the songs that is equally important as the vocals and lyrics.
So the follow up is, how many of us play in a country band and are professed country pickers ?
We played a shared bill last week. Just one longish set with a mix of classic country and Western swing.
Stop The World
I Lie When I Drink
Whiskey Aint Workin
Miles of Texas
Bottle Let Me Down
Take Me To Tulsa
Gentle On My Mind
Workin Man Blues
Six Days on the Road
Georgia Fast Train
Oh, Lonesome Me
I once played in a folk-rock sort of group called the Bass Brothers. We got a gig at "Trail Dust Days" in Pine Bluffs, Wyoming, right on the Nebraska border off I-80. We weren't a country band when we got there, but we were by the time we left.
My current band has a steel player, but we call it Country-Blues/Folk-Rock. We pulled out some Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard and Waylon Jennings at the last gig, but that's unusual for us. We're closer to The New Riders of the Purple Sage or Poco then most of what they play on the radio. Which is ironically probably more "country" then a lot of what's called "country" these days. A lot of what we play would have been called "Oakie Music" when and where I grew up.
Confusing, ain't it?
Hmmm... part of being a musician is knowing when and how to put one's own twist on things...I've always believed that if people wanted to hear things exactly like the record, they'd listen to the record.
I know what the record sounds like-I want to know what YALL sound like.
Perspective...where are you playing ? What people are you talking about , dances, shows, concerts , radio...
What is stated is very true, but if you are playing songs, already written which are popular and famous, cover songs...with a band full of musicians who are playing the same songs, playing the appropriate recorded parts are PART of the equation and important parts to the songs. It doesn't mean you don't stretch here and there within the song, you do, we do, but the signature components of songs , you know, the guitar parts, are as important as the words !
In a country band, the signature intro's ,turnarounds and many solo's are as important to the structure of the songs as lyrics. They don't have to be 100% spot on, close is good , recognizable is good. Jam inside the song, show your stuff...but also play the identity parts.
Do we play Claptons Wonderful Tonight without the identity guitar part ? No, of course not, that IS the song !
Play it all...
Some things are unrecognizable without their signature licks..some have pretty generic intros...
Hiway 40 Blues evolves around its intro...as does Faded Love. The Bottle Let Me Down, I'll Sign the Papers, and the million other I-IV-V shuffles, not so much.
Most people can tell a Chuck Berry style intro from an Albert Lee style. That's what I was trying to convey
Yes and I agree. On the other side however, as a "player" in a Country band, it's quite different than a Blues band or a 50's rock band. If we as guitar players kinda tell the world we are country players, one day we will get a call from another country band asking us to fill in, or maybe join. When we get there and we DO NOT know the appropriate lead ins, turns etc..we will be sent home. The set list, the songs, what we play, is the common thread for most if not all working country bands. Many country bands do not rehearse and don't need to. We review the set list and prepare. When I see songs like Play A-11 , Borrowed Angel or Farewell Party for example , it's on me. I am expected to play those parts, regardless of which band I am playing with. It's the common thread. THEY, meaning the the band, are expecting me to play the right parts in the right places . The singers are cued from those parts. Again, common thread.
Do I stretch ? Does the band stretch ? Sure, all the time...but we always come back to the ROOT.
Highway 40 is a very good example, but you can tell in a NY minute the players who KNOW the song and phrases over the ones who don't. And trust me on this, many in the audience know as well . That song has a very deliberate structure , if we are playing it with OUR band , one way, thats good, but if one day we are playing it with another country band , as the lead guitar player, and our way is NOT the standard structure, we will be in trouble and the band will then be in trouble ! We don't have to play the parts like the record per say, but we have to play the parts in the right places.
Many players feel country is very basic and easy, perhaps it is, but being a Lead guitar player, a Steel player , Fiddle , Keyboard and especially Bass , it's NOT that cut and dry. Sure 3 chords is easy but the song identities are not the same. 40 songs on a set list may very well use the same 3 chords but they are 40 totally different songs. We can't play the intro for Satin Sheets to Tenn Waltz !
My take, after doing this for well over 40 years on both Telecaster and Pedal Steel, do it all ! Practice and learn the stock parts and also practice free style over the changes. Whats the worst that will happen , we learn something ?
Others obviously see it differently which is fine, whatever works for them is good, I don't question that. I know what works for me and it keeps me working as well.
It's all good...have fun...
I play bass in a country band. Now I feel dirty...
Actually I stood in on lead a couple of weeks ago and we had a dep bass player, so that's not so bad is it?
Tony, we are saying the same thing - know your signature stuff, and know when to play it...know when to vamp...
I've been in a couple of country and rock cover bands in south Florida over the past couple of years. The current band gets gigs 3-4 times per month. The setlist is 2/3 country (old and new stuff) and rock with some blues. Here's a clip from our gig last weekend: