Speaking of cover songs, of which mind are you?

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

  1. Rockerfeller

    Rockerfeller Tele-Meister

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    I think that works when you're an original band, but if you're a cover band not so much. The people at the bar have to like what you're playing or you don't get more gigs there. If you're in the lucrative corporate / private party market you HAVE to play songs everybody knows. I take it that you've always played originals in clubs and that you're booked pretty consistently?
     
  2. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Poster Extraordinaire

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    I need to play 'catch up' with my own PR- just bad, behind...
     
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  3. beyer160

    beyer160 Friend of Leo's

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    Yeah- it'd be hard to apply this philosophy to a cover/function band, but I did see one band that made it work. They were called the Buddy Bradley Experience out of Cincinnati in the early '90s. It was all guys from original bands who got together to goof off playing covers. They didn't treat any of the material reverently- they did bizarre re-interpretations of classic rock standards, played blind drunk (it wasn't unusual for band members to fall over mid-set, I think I saw one of the guys puke onstage but that may have been in his other band). They were just having fun playing, and people LOVED it. They scored some pretty high profile gigs just by being fun and different.

    As for me, yeah- I've always played originals in clubs. I don't play for money- I have a job for that, which I'm pretty sure pays more than I could make playing covers. I go to work to make money, I play music for enjoyment. For me, the best way to kill the joy of playing would be to learn a bunch of songs I don't like in order to play in places I don't want to go to people I don't want to be around. Again, that's just my personal paradigm.
     
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  4. brokenbones

    brokenbones Tele-Meister

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    What's worse is when a guy in your cover band thinks all of his option #1 songs are really option #2 songs.
     
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  5. WisconsinStrings

    WisconsinStrings Tele-Afflicted

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    I'd rather play Shut Up and Dance to a room full of people dancing and having fun, than All Along the Watchtower to an empty room. That's just my idea of fun. It's also a realistic view of where we are at as a band. We aren't at a level where we can draw a crowd with our own stuff.

    With that said, for the most part, we can do both. Find songs that we like and everyone else likes as well. Right now, that's pretty much anything by Luke Combes.
     
  6. keithb7

    keithb7 Friend of Leo's

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    We never used to play Brown Eye'd Girl. Or Sweet Caroline. Yet people kept asking for it. So now we do it and people are loving it and keep singing along loudly. We keep getting rehired for gigs. People keep telling us how much they like the covers songs that we play.

    We also do some songs that people love and have not heard in a long time. They light up and really get into it. We do the odd song that the members in the band all want to play. 9 times out of 10 we give those up after a few gigs and we see that there is little to no crowd reaction. Then we insert songs that have been done a billion times and people never seem to get sick of. We keep changing things up. Rinse and repeat. That's what we do.
     
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  7. cyclopean

    cyclopean Friend of Leo's

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    if you do a cover, you should try to make it sound more like you than the original or do something else clever with it.
     
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  8. cyclopean

    cyclopean Friend of Leo's

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    EG:
     
  9. String Tree

    String Tree Doctor of Teleocity

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    Seriously, find out what Purty Womern's like to dance to.
    Do THOSE Songs!
    Get them dancing and the rest will take care of itself.
     
  10. ddewerd

    ddewerd Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    We do a mix, but lately we've come around to doing more of the somewhat forgotten tunes that everyone can remember, but don't hear very often.

    We just picked up "The Breakup Song" (Greg Kihn) and "Jenny (867-5309)" (Tommy TuTone)

    We played them out for the first time last weekend, and the crowd loved it. Of course we also did Gimme 3 Steps and Born to be Wild, but no Mustang Sally this time!

    We pretty much play we we like, and what we enjoy playing, but we try to make it interesting and fun for the audience too. I used to love playing Santana's Europa (to show off my guitar godliness!) but it was pretty much a snooze fest for the audience.

    Cheers,
    Doug
     
  11. T Prior

    T Prior Poster Extraordinaire

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    well, done all 3, all originals band , hidden gems and popular well known tunes. Still do a bit of all 3 . It really just depends where we are playing and the type of venue.

    but

    If we wanna work consistently then #3 is what WE play, and do.

    Theres a million great songs other than Brown Eye'd Girl and I sure wish I wrote that one.

    I'm a Steel player and a Guitar player , I get calls, I play the set list handed to me. I don't question it. I've been on one "twice a month" cover gig for 4 and a half years now. And no its not the same songs each show. Its wide open. OF course many songs are repeated often but not each show.



    Two recent comments come to mind,

    - "we love your band , you play songs we love"

    - while singing an original " do you guys know " Old Time Rock and Roll " ?

    We should just do what keeps us active , enjoyable and happy, whatever that may be.
     
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  12. Sparky2

    Sparky2 Friend of Leo's

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    My band takes pride in not only doing great covers, but also delivering them in a style that hopefully sounds like the stylus just dropped on the record album 40 years ago.

    When we do the odd (usually one-hit wonder) gems, it's because one or more members of the band fell in love with that quirky tune, and then we all fall in on it and get genuine enjoyment out of playing it live, and doing it well.

    Do we perform originals?
    Yes, on occasion.

    But we mainly do classic rock covers, and we really love it when we get requests for songs that we haven't done in a long time.
    It's a real challenge to dust off a song you haven't practiced lately, and then perform it with joy and unbridled abandon.

    :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2019
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  13. T Prior

    T Prior Poster Extraordinaire

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    I like whats written above. Doing it well is the ticket.

    Got me to thinking about bands and cover songs.

    I recently went to a jam with a country cover band, they had an interest to add Steel to the mix, they sent me a set list, I pretty much knew all the tunes. What I didn't know was that they were going to play them exactly the same as the records, if the record was 2:30 seconds, that was it, 2:30 seconds, no solos, nothing extra. Every song. While I certainly agree that not every song requires an add-lib, some should remain true . But at the same time adding our own interpretation or solos inside the song is what makes it fun and enjoyable. That band decided to not add the Steel as they didn't know where it fit. The one guitar player in the band was playing all the intro's ,short fills , turnarounds and endings. They actually told me that they had a Steel player previously and he quit because he didn't get any playing time ! Well Duhhh !

    Covers can be a ton of fun. Play it like the record , stretch, then return to form.

    I guess I am wondering, those that have been in cover bands and dont enjoy it, or don't want to do it anymore, did you not have any time in the songs to express yourself ? Or were you just sticking to the 2:30 second version and moving to the next song ?

    Don't get me wrong, there are some songs that require being spot on true to the original. Some songs can be very difficult and require some strict attention and woodshedding.

    Being a country picker , there are many songs where the guitar parts are equal to the song and lyrics, many are based on the guitar intro's and fills. To me executing properly is not playing a cover song, it's just playing guitar .( or Steel)
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2019
  14. jackal

    jackal Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    I have no problem playing covers, but do very few just like the recording. Stretch out, ad-lib, change lyrics, medley with something else, there are so many ways to make songs your own and have fun with them.
     
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  15. alnico357

    alnico357 Tele-Holic

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    First cover band rule: with a few exceptions thrown in, people want to hear the songs they know and love.
     
  16. alnico357

    alnico357 Tele-Holic

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    Cream?
     
  17. ddewerd

    ddewerd Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    Being in a trio is an interesting challenge for me (same band for 15+ years - classic/southern rock, new/old country, jazzy stuff)

    It's certainly made me a much better player. But it really forces you to boil down a song into its core essence, and then present it well. It's hard to do a 100% cover when you don't have keys, fiddle, steel, 5 backup singers, orchestra, etc.!

    So we try to stay true to the song, but we're forced to be creative in how we present it. But like I said, it's been eye opening for me to improve my chops to try to do justice to other instrument's parts and fills.

    But hey, we get people dancing and having fun, so we must be doing something right!

    Cheers,
    Doug
     
  18. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

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    no way. hippie music sucks :cool:
     
  19. alnico357

    alnico357 Tele-Holic

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  20. 2HBStrat

    2HBStrat Tele-Meister

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    The Grateful Dead have, themselves, played a LOT of covers over the years, probably even two out of these three. Seems they always picked covers that were well known, yes?
     
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