In what respect is this guy “bandleader?” Does he own the van and PA? 7 years you’ve put up with this dude? Sounds like an egomaniac. Don’t you think you deserve to be in a more musically equitable and collaborative situation?
He started the band years before I joined and owns the PA and pays for the rehearsal space. He also sings lead and sometimes plays lead guitar. So he's the "bandleader" to me.Wow. Sounds like you're talking about a band I'm in.
Egomaniac and bad musician for a leader, and he's not a collaborator, either.
I'm dialing it down.
And the Byrds, Jason & the Scorchers, Byrds, Harrison, Byrds, the Band. I'm by no means a Dylan fanboy, but I can confidently say that there are far worse things in life than being forced to play Dylan covers.I know these two examples are outliers of success, but Hendrix's "All Along the Watchtower" or Adele's "Make You Feel My Love" are so good precisely because they didn't attempt to sound like Dylan.
Completely agree. There are tons more examples than the two I listed. And that was the point of my asking "how" this band leader was wanting to play the songs. To play them just like Dylan's original or to take these songs and make them sound the best this band can do. I kind of cringe listening to Dylan's "Just Like a Woman". But with Norah Jones on lead vocals it's such a nicer song (and she doesn't change things up much, she just has a voice and knows how to sing).And the Byrds, Jason & the Scorchers, Byrds, Harrison, Byrds, the Band. I'm by no means a Dylan fanboy, but I can confidently say that there are far worse things in life than being forced to play Dylan covers.
I'm not super familiar with the Dylan discography (aside from Slow Train Coming, Highway 61 Revisited, and Infidels, mainly because I'm a fan of Mike Bloomfield and Mark Knopfler), but most of the songs our bandleader foists on us are ones I haven't heard before (and I have listened to a lot of music in my years). They do tend to be longer with multiple verses (albeit musically repetitive yet a little unpredictable in terms of when the song is supposed to be over vs. whether we keep playing).Which songs, or era of songs, is he suggesting? Any tracks off of "Love & Theft" (what an awesome album) or "Modern Times"? Or is he going for deep cut 14 verses with few changes and no bridge Dylan songs? Or some of the lesser played but still accessible songs like "It’s All Over Now Baby Blue". Or does he want to do all seventeen minutes of "Murder So Foul"?
Does your audience want to hear these songs? What kind of gigs are you playing? There are lots of great Dylan songs (says Mr. Obvious), but really only so many that will grab the attention of a general audience. Some of his greatest songs are great because of their lyrical content, not their musical composition. If you're playing a folk festival, listening room or quiet coffee house, break out all the Dylan. If you're playing the local brewery, winery or pub, keep it to the songs that at least 30% of the audience will be able to sing along with.
My final question is how is the band trying to play them: Are you trying to sound like Dylan? Or is the band leader inspired by these songs and wants the band to play them the best that the band can be? I know these two examples are outliers of success, but Hendrix's "All Along the Watchtower" or Adele's "Make You Feel My Love" are so good precisely because they didn't attempt to sound like Dylan. When was the last time you heard someone covering Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower"? Probably never because everyone, including Dylan himself, is playing off of Hendrix.
I saw a guy at an open mic recently who sings in a Dylan tribute band (no idea where or how often that band plays). He knows the material and sings it well (well, like Dylan). But the first two songs nobody knew what they were. By the time he got to doing all seven verses of "Tangled Up in Blue" people were looking at their watches wondering when the next act would get to use the mic. At an open mic, that can happen. But for a band wanting to get gigs and earn money that's trouble.
Obviously, I have no answers for the original poster. If the band leader is stuck in this lane of wanting to do 48 Dylan songs there may not be much that can be done about it. Except in the long term the band leader may find that he's now a one-man band.
I agree. I do think variety goes a long way and helps keep our audiences and bandmates engaged alike. I would expect my bandmates and audiences to get annoyed if I made us play nothing but Lennon-McCartney or Paul Simon songs (especially lesser-known/regarded fare like "Honey Pie" or "Cars Are Cars").As to being forced to play Dylan covers, that's great if that's going to be the band's focus. But if it's a general cover band I think you've got to have variety. I sometimes play in a trio with two female vocalists. We're up to six Brandi Carlile songs but make it a point to not play more than two per hour. Way back when I was in a general blues rock cover band we probably had 12 to 15 Stones songs at the ready, but unless there was a request we would at most do three or four over a three to three and a half hours gig. That's just not about overdoing one artist's song cateloge, it's also that for every additional Dylan/Brandi/Stone/etc song that goes onto the set list you have to remove some other good song.
Ugh. Good luck to you. Does not sound like a situation I'd want to be in. But bands, as with all types of relationships, have their pros & cons and ups & downs. Very personal decision to stay in them or decide it's time to move on.I'm not super familiar with .........