Lack of musical diversity....local "bar" bands

Discussion in 'Music to Your Ears' started by teleblueman, Jan 24, 2016.

  1. fgbass

    fgbass TDPRI Member

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    To be in a working band you have play what people want to hear not what you
    Like. Try it on your day job see what happens
     
  2. tweedtone

    tweedtone Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    In days of yore, I played in original bands and had fun. Now I play in quirky cover bands and I have fun and I get paid. (Actually, the rest of the musicians get paid - I spend my cut on gear and administrative overhead. But I get to pick and arrange all the material.)

    Band #1
    Sara Rose Band
    Female-fronted classic (i.e. pre-1980) country with smattering of rockabilly and crossover stuff like Dusty Springfield and Roy Orbison. Things are really picking up of late!

    Band #2
    Vodkanauts
    Long-running (established 2002) "power lounge" combo, started out playing exotica and surf instrumental now we do pretty much everything from Rat Pack to disco, usually radically reimagined. A majority of our gigs are well-paying private events.
     
  3. xinu

    xinu TDPRI Member

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    In Canuckistan there is no fourth down:p
     
  4. PBO Blues

    PBO Blues Tele-Holic

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    It pains me to say this, but I'm approaching this point on classic rock entirely. It's been the soundtrack of my life for 50 years, but it's simply wearing thin on me.

    It feels sacrilegious to say so.

    Mike
     
  5. Tim Bowen

    Tim Bowen Poster Extraordinaire

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    Don't feel so bad. Tastes shift, evolve, and even change outright over time.

    My transformation (odd choice of words... sounds like changes occurring within Lycanthropy) may or may not be more extreme than most, not sure. It's not that I dislike/no longer enjoy the various musical genres represented within my eclectic music collection, or the styles that I play live, it's just that I no longer actively seek them out as a listener.

    From a pure listening standpoint, I really gravitate nearly exclusively toward classical/baroque and jazz music anymore. Some other stuff as well, but jazz is really the only music I regularly pursue listening to that usually contains rhythm sections. Which is an odd place for a fellow to be for whom the electric guitar became the single most important thing in the world in 1964.
     
  6. davguitar

    davguitar Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    If you think that cover bands want to play cover tunes exclusively, then you don't know about cover bands. Bands, if they want to get paying gigs, play what their local markets dictate. Many musicians are actually making their livings by being hired to play what the particular audience demands.

    I know a guy who just got an offer from Monument Records just this week. He could play originals all night long but his band still plays a lot of country covers to please the audience.

    Original music does not originate in Austin.
     
  7. OlRedNeckHippy

    OlRedNeckHippy Friend of Leo's

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    I hear ya and agree. We're in the same boat. My response is that I've evolved.
    Today's country (some of it), and bands like Blackberry Smoke, is a lot like the Skynyrd, Charlie and Tucker of my youth. That's where my heads at these days, with the new southern rock heroes.
     
  8. PBO Blues

    PBO Blues Tele-Holic

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    Couldn't agree more. That's exactly where my head is too. Glad I'm not alone.

    Mike
     
  9. Razzle

    Razzle Tele-Meister

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    Lack of musical diversity....local "bar" bands

    It sucks here in Huntsville . The cover bands don't even do the covers well, hell I'd settle for a smokin' cover. And the other half of bands are doing folk music.

    We're just too close to Nashville. Anybody doing originals doesn't waste time here. A very interesting phenomenon, when I moved I thought it would be vibrant -- it's not!!!
     
  10. dmitri

    dmitri Tele-Meister

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    Maybe I'm just lucky but I get to do a nice mix of covers and originals. In south central PA we have a lot of the standard Classic rock cover banda, 80s and 90s cover bands, SRV style hard blues bands... but we also seem to have room for some originals. I tend to heavily modify covers anyways so its not a big deal I guess when we do originals.
     
  11. Telenator

    Telenator Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    I'm not so sure it's a matter of luck so much as the quality of the performance. If your band puts on a great show, I'm not surprised you're able to play such a diverse song list successfully. Sounds like you guys are in the groove!
     
  12. greggorypeccary

    greggorypeccary Friend of Leo's

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    I play in an original band. We play places that hire a lot of cover bands. People like us and we often get comments like, "Its nice to see something other than a cover band playing the same old songs."
     
  13. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire

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    I still enjoy a well done cover of the "classics". It's the half-axed, half-baked, sloppy, lazy execution that fries my bacon. Those songs are classic because they are great songs. Done well, they're still great songs. I'd rather hear a kick-axe cover than a crappy original; decent originals are fun too, but kinda rare these days.
     
  14. ndcaster

    ndcaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    wayne hancock writes great songs that follow established forms: blues, rhythm changes, etc. what adds variety, and what never gets old to me, is different rhythms and feels: boogie, lope, barrelhouse, waltz, chuck berry, cajun two beat, and so on. musicians freak out too much about "being original." as others have said, people in bars are there to have a good time, so if you want to *say* something new, try giving it to them in forms they and other musicians recognize -- whatever those forms are. as for tweaks, tweak away but stay in the family.
     
  15. Tim Bowen

    Tim Bowen Poster Extraordinaire

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    I live in a small-medium town with two colleges;
    population @ approximately 36,000.

    There are plenty of writers, artists, and musicians performing good original music around here and earning decent wages.

    There are plenty of musicians performing 'cool/obscure/off the beaten path' cover tunes around here and earning decent wages.

    Most of those who do have been pounding the pavement, paying their dues, honing their craft, and regionally building names and notoriety for themselves within the circuit FOR YEARS.

    And they don't book the rooms where patrons are expecting to hear "Wagon Wheel" and "Sweet Home Alabama" every night. There's a time and place for everything.

    There is a "music scene" largely because the musicians and the music lovers helped build a scene - from nothing. A local scene doesn't happen overnight, and wishing it so doesn't get it done. My personal contribution to the building and maintaining of a local music scene began in the early 80s.


    This thread seems more like a 'Band Wagon' forum candidate to me.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2016
  16. codamedia

    codamedia Friend of Leo's

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    +1 .... I like your way of thinking. The same thing has been happening around here. The club scene dried up years ago and there was a stagnant period.... but over the past decade their has been a movement to create your own shows... and venue's have been developed to accommodate just that. With the accessibility of recording and promoting yourself these days... a band with ambition can create their own market much easier than in the past... but as it has always been - it does take hard work. It also takes hard work (as a music lover) to find these shows.... they don't just show up at the local club or coffee shop very often.

    Back to the OP....

    Classics are ingrained in our heads and it is very difficult to do them better than the version we all know. Hearing a band play a classic doesn't bother me... it's how they play it that matters. I don't mind when a band plays a classic and pays it the respect it deserves and does it well. But too many classics get destroyed by groups that think "speeding it up" is important, or "Sweet Home Alabama needs more overdrive" - ARGHHHH!.

    Sometimes there is no easy way to say it... it's just a bad group and playing a classic is the only way they can get something positive from the crowd.
     
  17. Wrong-Note Rod

    Wrong-Note Rod Poster Extraordinaire

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    Atlanta seems to have a somewhat diverse music scene. Theres a bazillion hella good bar bands, sho' nuff.

    The original music scene has lately taken a couple of hard body blows with the closing of one famous venue and then the ALMOST MIGHT STILL BE closing of another... but there are still places, nice places and dives, to hear original bands. And theres a bunch of really good all original bands.

    Theres also a billion places to hear cover bands, and you're right, it seems like a lot of them play the same old stuff. I got tired of playing it all 10 or 15 years ago. But there is still some demand for playing Brown eyed Girl and Wonderful Tonight, so they play it.

    One thing I am not seeing, and this is weird because Atlanta is still in the south... not a lot of hi profile country places, not like there was when I first moved here in the 80s. And, what "country" places there are, always have modern country acts booked.

    You wanna play classic country, you have to head out into the sticks. Granted, the sticks aint too far away.

    If you move here, you wont have any trouble finding like-minded musical associates, theres a metric buttload of great players here. Thats about the extent of your guarantee. The gigging and booking here is difficult and cut-throat.
     
  18. surfoverb

    surfoverb Doctor of Teleocity

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    there is a decent music scene here. metal, country, punk, blooze...
    there are some good cover bands but I avoid them like the plague.

    most cover band dudes are also in original bands too though
     
  19. cbtd

    cbtd Tele-Meister

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    As someone mentioned earlier, Chicago has a great diverse scene with something for everyone. The way it works here is pretty much all the clubs in the city want original bands, and venues in the suburbs like cover bands.
     
  20. Big John Studd

    Big John Studd Friend of Leo's

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    One band I'm in does a lot of "classic rock" covers in bars. We are a 3-piece (drums, electric bass, electric guitar) so there's really no way we can accurately reproduce many of the songs we play (e.g. Taking Care Of Business, Sweet Home Alabama, etc.).

    We don't let that stop us though. All three of us sing, so we put emphasis on practice at getting some nice vocal harmony on the choruses. Maybe this distracts from the fact that we don't have the critical saxophone part or piano part or whatever else that upsets classic rock critics.

    Other than that we just try to play in time, in tune, and at a reasonable volume...so far, so good!
     
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