In praise of Mustang Sally, Brown Eyed Girl, & Sweet Home Alabama...

Discussion in 'Band Wagon' started by christhee68, Oct 17, 2016.

  1. RevMike

    RevMike Poster Extraordinaire

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    I love situations like that. I've never been afraid to wing it. What's the worst that can happen? Better to save those for late in the set though, because if you crash and burn drunks don't care much.
     
  2. cboutilier

    cboutilier Tele-Afflicted

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    The first bar I frequented had a No Wagon Wheel sign on the wall behind the stage, and that was before Darius Rucker released his cover
     
  3. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Thanks. I think it all just comes down to good musicianship. J Hog pointed that out pretty well in his post and for me it comes from being willing and able to listen as well as you play or maybe even better in my case. I grew most as player when I learned to listen more and with more skill.

    Playing bass as often as I did plus doing a majority of the vocals I could often feel if we were drifting off the groove or speeding up and losing the pocket just by how I had to rush both my bass line and the vocal phrasing. Luckily I played an instrument that would allow me to coax it back in provided the drummer was listening to me do it and the rest would follow. That can make all the difference in the world between "tight" and "not tight".

    I think the same thing was true with arrangements on the fly. We were fortunate to have a very good keyboard player who could get quite inventive at times and as that old disco song goes "turn the beat around" so we'd end up doing a reggae version of "The Letter" or come out of a planned solo into an unplanned break down he'd begin to host and we'd lay back for a few seconds, hear where he was going with it and then just play follow the leader. Some nights it was a real hoot and even the crowd would get a kick out of it because we'd make all kinds of attempts to get very eclectic and less boring even for the pure listeners.

    Even doing tired old cover tunes can be fun if the band allows for it.
     
  4. ac15

    ac15 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Yes that is the problem. And exactly why so many bands suck at playing it.

    Chuck Berry tunes are like that (the birthday boy!). People dismiss it as "oh it's a Chuck Berry tune" and they just play it on autopilot. Totally perfunctory sounding bull crap.

    This became apparent to me when I saw a local band that nails that (and everything else) with the same energy that the original versions had. A real eye opener for me, as it underscored that it is possible to totally nail those classics, but really almost no one ever does.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2016
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  5. codamedia

    codamedia Friend of Leo's

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    In praise of Mustang Sally, Brown Eyed Girl, & Sweet Home Alabama...

    I've been playing all three of those since the early 80's... not in every group, but on and off over the years. Some groups re-work them and make them their own, others just play a BAD version of them. Crowd always loves them.

    Myself? I gained new respect for them (many years ago) when I went back to the originals and actually grabbed all the parts I could. My thought was.... those songs are popular because of those recordings, why not play those parts. Sweet Home is a lot of fun... that little sliding/rolling guitar line in the verses (that nobody plays) are great parts. If you are playing that song, and not playing those parts (or don't even know they are there) go back and listen! Just sayin...
     
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  6. Stingfan73

    Stingfan73 Tele-Afflicted

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    I've sung and played that one. The arrangement really is the key, and a number of bands I've observed doing it don't get the arrangement right, and it just kind of meanders and fizzles-out in the ending. When done right, I think the as-recorded arrangement is pretty effective and "goes somewhere" in a way that more haphazard efforts don't.

    It's not a real dancing song, sure, but a great and well-known Petty track, and that works for me, when done right.

    :)
     
  7. Stingfan73

    Stingfan73 Tele-Afflicted

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    Hahaha!!!! No "Wagon Wheel". Funny.
     
  8. crossroader

    crossroader Tele-Afflicted

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    HA! Funny you should mention that one.
    We purposely dropped that one from the set list in our Americana-style trio - just got tired of it.
    BUT, at our last gig we had a great crowd and after our last song they asked us to play "one more song!" :D
    And one of them yelled out "Wagon Wheel!" - so we ripped into it.
    And even worse, someone from the crowd cruised up to the stage with a harmonica (GASP!!) :eek:

    The club owner saw us looking at each other, wondering if we should let him up - he knew the guy and smiled and nodded to us.
    Turned out the guy played a great harp solo - and everyone in the place was jumpin'....and they asked us to play ANOTHER song (so we obliged with another old chestnut - "Honky Tonk Woman").
    It was great gig. We had a blast. AND someone from another venue happened to be there and asked for our card so she could call us about booking us at her club.

    So, yeah, sometimes those tired old songs are worth another go.
     
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  9. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Maybe it's regional, but I never heard of "Wagon Wheel".
     
  10. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

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    yeah it's not Beiber, Nickelback , OR Rush :)
     
  11. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Telefied Ad Free Member

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    True.
     
  12. noah330

    noah330 Friend of Leo's

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    I haven't played in a cover band in over twenty years. When I was in college I played with another acoustic guitarist and bassist in a trio that did top 40 in a bar in Fanueil Hall to make extra money.

    I wouldn't have any trouble playing any of those songs. To me, it's more about the sloppy 'let's all show up and play songs the easiest way we can with no practice to make $50-$100' type of mentality that goes along with ***SOME*** of the "bands" I see doing covers.

    A good band is a good band and I would rather see a top notch cover or original by a well rehearsed band than a lackluster show up for a few bucks throw together group doing something.
     
  13. Paul in Colorado

    Paul in Colorado Telefied Ad Free Member

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    There are so many songs with great dance grooves that I see no reason to play those songs. But I don't play in a classic rock cover band, so audiences don't expect us to do those songs.

    Our bass player grew up as a Yankee in Alabama. There's no way he'd ever play a Skynnard cover. I'd do Mustang Sally if someone wanted it bad enough and I'd play Brown Eyed Girl. But each time you get to the chorus use a different eye color until the last time when you sing "red-eyed girl." And play it as a reggae tune.
     
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  14. cboutilier

    cboutilier Tele-Afflicted

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    It was a great bluegrassy tune by the Old Crow Medicine Show that really caught on with the hip young crowd about 10 years ago. It's very catchy. Darius Rucker released it as an equally overplayed country-pop single a few years ago.

    Bob Dylan actually wrote the music and chorus lyrics as a short piece for a movie in the 70s IIRC.
     
  15. Chooglin59

    Chooglin59 Tele-Meister

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    Interesting...I had never heard of it either
     
  16. String Tree

    String Tree Doctor of Teleocity

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    Never understood the Snob aspect of some bands. "Were too good to play THAT Song.." of some Cover bands. Some folks just want to Dance to a song they know. Yes, every Band around plays those songs. Yes, there is a huge discrepancy as to how well they are played but make no mistake as to how well those songs are received by the paying customers.

    Most of them have jobs they HATE. They know exactly how long it will be before they have to go back to them. This is their night to have some fun.

    You did what I would have done.
    Keep'em happy, keep'em moving, fill-up that Tip Jar!

    ~ST
     
  17. Honest Charley

    Honest Charley Tele-Holic

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    I´m living in Sweden and I am fully aware of this fine melody! O.C.M.S. thats is.
    A good tune can travel a long way.. :)
     
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  18. LeeVegas

    LeeVegas Tele-Meister

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    [QUOTE="String Tree,]
    Most of them have jobs they HATE.
    ~ST[/QUOTE]

    ...and you get to play music. Give the people what they want!
     
  19. cboutilier

    cboutilier Tele-Afflicted

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    In this part of the world it's become my generation's Brown Eyed Girl.
     
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  20. Honest Charley

    Honest Charley Tele-Holic

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    This is THE best comment I have read for a LONG time! :)

    I have friends who play dance halls who says they can´t quit playing. Seeing a hundred and some pairs dancing to their bands music is too great to give it up. Johan the bassplayer said something like this: "this night there probably are two, three or maybe more pairs who met for the very first time. This is the night they never will forget! This and our music!"
     
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