Speaking of cover songs, of which mind are you?

Discussion in 'Band Wagon' started by blowtorch, Oct 17, 2019.

  1. drumtime

    drumtime Tele-Meister

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    i tend to dislike playing covers generally. I get the thing about familiar songs being what the crowd wants to hear, but I also feel like I'm too old to use up my "music time" playing the same songs at the same time every other bar band in the US is playing them. So, I forego the benefits of that approach in favor of playing what I want to play , and if I get to do that for an audience, cool.

    I'm playing with a band that does about 80% originals. My old friend who fronts the band has a knack for writing good songs that sound familiar. We do a few covers - usually our own versions, and some improvisational stuff mixed in. It seems to go over very well, and the girls do dance. We live in a very small, mostly rural market, so there's not much chance we'll ever make money anyhow.

    I also just got into a house band gig, where we host an open mic for the first part of the evening, and the second part is a jam featuring musicians from local bands who want to just get up and improvise together, outside of the constraints of their usual repertoire and band dynamics. It's been really awesome - the musicians appreciate it and have a great time, and again, the girls dance. Last time, the entire staff was dancing.

    Again, very little money - it's every other Monday- but tons of fun, which at my age is the main deal.

    Edit to add - at the house band gig, we only play music that nobody has heard before, including the musicians.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2019
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  2. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Agreed.

    I'm just curious if your question is directed to:

    - original bands who throw in a cover or two each set
    - a cover band
    - either

    I bet the answers differ depending on the context
     
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  3. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    What prompts you to put "artist" in quotes?
     
  4. David Barnett

    David Barnett Doctor of Teleocity

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    The Bay City Rollers should cover Nick Lowe's song "Rollers Show".
     
  5. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Neil Young should cover Sweet Home Alabama.
     
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  6. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Don Henley should cover "Don Henley Must Die"
     
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  7. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I'm just curious as to people's philosophy regarding choosing covers
     
  8. zeedoctour

    zeedoctour Tele-Meister

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    If I think I can do a great version of a cover, I'll try and learn it. I'm not at all concerned with how close it is to the original. That's not why I play music. If you want to replicate covers as close to the original as you can, that's ok too. Really, it's all ok ... even crimes exist to punish your soul.
     
  9. Larry F

    Larry F Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    When I had a blues trio for a few years, I played the tune with a few recognizable parts, then would solo on the progression. Then back to the head and we're out. The more we could rehearse, the more involved the song structures would become (a problem for me since my memory is not as sharp as it was). Judging from reactions and comments, it looks like the audience enjoyed songs they recognized, even if we mod it up a lot with solos and whatnot.

    If I'm playing in front of a group of people, I want to be able to control how they will respond to us. If you are an unknown quantity, the some recognizable stuff helps. Years ago, I played a gig that started with Sunny. The audience danced and clapped right away. This was for our Pat Martino inspired version. During the solo, I could go all over the place, as long as everyone knew the tune underneath. Anyway, next song was a Barney Kessel number, "Freeway." Like Sunny, it is peppy, optimistic, and great for soloing. But there was less dancing and clapping for that, our second song of the night. At that point, I put down my L5 and picked up my Strat, and we started exploring our history of songs that we knew that would please the audience.

    Give and take.
     
  10. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Certain songs were, at the height of their popularity, absolute sure-fire hits for any band who would have took the time to cover them. These tunes would include:

    Uptown Funk
    Achey Breaky Heart
    Pumped Up Kicks
    ...and currently, that "Bad Guy" song is a smart choice.

    Outside of their golden time, they just sound dated and faded.
    I wish I was hip enough to know of these songs before like, WalMart is playing them over the PA
     
  11. Wallaby

    Wallaby Tele-Meister

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    I vote for 1 because I think that means "obscure weird songs that my older siblings listened to before I could properly form memories".

    Like Troglodyte.

     
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  12. Recce

    Recce Friend of Leo's

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    That’s
    That’s hilarious
     
  13. Rockerfeller

    Rockerfeller Tele-Meister

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    100% I think it all depends on what kind of band you are trying to be. If you want to be a working cover band that does 50-75 higher paying type shows a year (corporate, private party etc) , you have to play what people want to hear. The good news is that there are tons of newer songs that people love and are fun to play.
     
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  14. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Poster Extraordinaire

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    I actually play/sing Wagon Wheel and Mustang Sally as I think we bring something to the table when we play them ( good instrumental musicianship)
    but I will do Brown Eyed Girl only if requested. I can't really explain my rationale ( why 2 way over-covered songs are OK but not 1) but that song just bugs me.

    We also play GD songs, along with the GD versions of some of the songs they covered.
    ( Note: I happen to think that listening to Jerry Garcia and the Dead just gave me ' permission' to play any music, any style I want)

    Always adding songs to the repertoire, which at 60 now means remembering/relearning songs I played 30-40 years ago- just a lot of good ( old) music has passed by these ears.
     
  15. roknfnrol

    roknfnrol Tele-Meister

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    Definitely #1. Deep cuts, but luckily the crowd we have and the places we play, most folks know the tunes. So it's really a combination of #1 and #2. Very cool.
     
  16. Ron R

    Ron R Friend of Leo's

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    Here's a cool cover:
     
  17. Whatizitman

    Whatizitman Friend of Leo's

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    If I played in a cover band, I would be #2. Because of that, I don't play in a cover band.
     
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  18. beyer160

    beyer160 Friend of Leo's

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    I have never given a single whit what an audience thinks of the music I play, and stopped including songs "for the girls to dance to" in setlists when I was 16. When I go to see a band, I want to hear what's interesting and unique about them, not to be pandered to with facsimiles of songs by other artists. That's just my paradigm though, that doesn't make anybody else's invalid. I would be spectacularly bad in a cover band.


    "I hope that I can remember,
    A Southern Man don't need me around, anyhow"
     
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  19. bcorig

    bcorig Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    As a member of the audience I prefer to hear what I know but having performed a little, something unfamiliar done well musically is appreciated.
    The few times I perform (terrible voice) I stick to what I think people would know (I’m 69 years old). Always wanted to do “Butchie’s Tune” by the Lovin’ Spoonful.
     
  20. Flat6Driver

    Flat6Driver Friend of Leo's

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    I still need to get on out and see you play/meet you sometime.
     
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