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Overplayed Covers?
Old 2 weeks ago
  #1
iFi audio
 
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Overplayed Covers?

When I was in music school I had a list of overplayed covers I had to play over and over, but I’m thinking the top one was Valerie-Amy Winehouse. I’m a big believer that covers especially need to be performed with respect to the original song’s intent and the artist’s genius for creating it, so I’m not looking to bash songs that are covered, rather to see what people find in their circles is just that one song people can’t help but request... Every. Gig. What song(s) it for you? "Free Bird" at the bars? "Sweet Caroline" at the Weddings?
Old 2 weeks ago
  #2
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by iFi audio ➡️
... I’m not looking to bash songs that are covered, rather to see what people find in their circles is just that one song people can’t help but request... Every. Gig. What song(s) it for you? "Free Bird" at the bars? "Sweet Caroline" at the Weddings?
Most of those songs are ones I actually like and enjoy playing. If it's with good players, I like "Sweet Caroline" a lot. Not a big fan of "Free Bird" and "Color My World." There's a subcategory, songs that people request so they can get up and sing them. Those can be fun, too, especially with geezers my age who know the old standards. Not crazy about "Nothing Compares 2 U."
Old 2 weeks ago
  #3
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Progger's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Man. Yes. I could write a book about overplayed covers. To be quite honest, at the risk of alienating his fans, any Van Morrison song is a song I'd be just fine never having to play again. Inevitably, I'll be playing some of his work this Saturday and Sunday, and the weekend after that.

Honestly, though, I'm more interested in songs of the "American Standard" repertoire that I never get sick of! I could keep playing these happily for the next thirty years...

Rock With You
PYT
What's Going On
Do I Do
Overjoyed
Everybody Wants to Rule the World (not American, I know! But rooted in American styles and popular in the States.)
Take On Me (ditto)
How Deep Is Your Love
God Only Knows
Lovely Day
Let's Stay Together
How Would I Know
Ain't Nobody

Granted, a lot of bands don't play a lot of these songs, but some of them are quite common in my current scene and I'm just fine with that.

I'm also always interested in learning which repertoire stays the same from city to city and which repertoire is region-specific (in the US, mind you, I've only worked internationally with original groups so I'm not sure about the cover scenes in Oz, England, France, even Canada...). Texas cover bands share a lot of repertoire with New York, but of course Texas will play Pat Green where New York will play Billy Joel or Springsteen. Thankfully, both of them appreciate Whitney.

I'm working with a college program right now that's developing its "contemporary music" scene, and I've put together the skeleton of a standard repertoire list, similar to jazz standards for a jazz curriculum. There's a lot of great American and American-derived music out there thanks to the geniuses of soul, funk, RnB, rock, and pop.
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #4
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn ➡️
Most of those songs are ones I actually like and enjoy playing. If it's with good players, I like "Sweet Caroline" a lot. Not a big fan of "Free Bird" and "Color My World." There's a subcategory, songs that people request so they can get up and sing them. Those can be fun, too, especially with geezers my age who know the old standards. Not crazy about "Nothing Compares 2 U."
I have experience with the "Free bird!" thing first hand. I played the biker circuit around Jacksonville FL for a few years in a band called Finders Keepers. The highlights were playing a few barbeque contests and the outlaws (1% bikers) clubhouse.

Every crowd wanted Freebird, and rock& roll. The singer hated to blow out his voice on rock and roll so we developed a bit to always recruited people from the audience to sing that one. We did good versions of She hates me, Kryptonite, and smoke two joints.
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #5
iFi audio
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn ➡️
Most of those songs are ones I actually like and enjoy playing. If it's with good players, I like "Sweet Caroline" a lot. Not a big fan of "Free Bird" and "Color My World." There's a subcategory, songs that people request so they can get up and sing them. Those can be fun, too, especially with geezers my age who know the old standards. Not crazy about "Nothing Compares 2 U."
Good musicians definitely make cover sets better, I agree. Solid tunes though! Very fair point about the function of the cover/set too. I feel like those more karaoke or request-based sets do have a category of their own. Do you have a personal favorite tune you like to call?
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #6
iFi audio
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elegentdrum ➡️
I have experience with the "Free bird!" thing first hand. I played the biker circuit around Jacksonville FL for a few years in a band called Finders Keepers. The highlights were playing a few barbeque contests and the outlaws (1% bikers) clubhouse.

Every crowd wanted Freebird, and rock& roll. The singer hated to blow out his voice on rock and roll so we developed a bit to always recruited people from the audience to sing that one. We did good versions of She hates me, Kryptonite, and smoke two joints.
That's an epic band name. Beats any of the band names I was a part of! Sublime is always a good crowd pleaser and fun to play.
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #7
iFi audio
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Progger ➡️
Man. Yes. I could write a book about overplayed covers. To be quite honest, at the risk of alienating his fans, any Van Morrison song is a song I'd be just fine never having to play again. Inevitably, I'll be playing some of his work this Saturday and Sunday, and the weekend after that.

Honestly, though, I'm more interested in songs of the "American Standard" repertoire that I never get sick of! I could keep playing these happily for the next thirty years...

Rock With You
PYT
What's Going On
Do I Do
Overjoyed
Everybody Wants to Rule the World (not American, I know! But rooted in American styles and popular in the States.)
Take On Me (ditto)
How Deep Is Your Love
God Only Knows
Lovely Day
Let's Stay Together
How Would I Know
Ain't Nobody

Granted, a lot of bands don't play a lot of these songs, but some of them are quite common in my current scene and I'm just fine with that.

I'm also always interested in learning which repertoire stays the same from city to city and which repertoire is region-specific (in the US, mind you, I've only worked internationally with original groups so I'm not sure about the cover scenes in Oz, England, France, even Canada...). Texas cover bands share a lot of repertoire with New York, but of course Texas will play Pat Green where New York will play Billy Joel or Springsteen. Thankfully, both of them appreciate Whitney.

I'm working with a college program right now that's developing its "contemporary music" scene, and I've put together the skeleton of a standard repertoire list, similar to jazz standards for a jazz curriculum. There's a lot of great American and American-derived music out there thanks to the geniuses of soul, funk, RnB, rock, and pop.
I hear you lol. My first band (more of a jazz band) started with Moondance too. "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" is an amazing tune I enjoy as well.
Love the list too. Lots of good soul favorites. Did you ever play "Say a Little Prayer"? It was by Aretha Franklin, but I love the Lianne La Havas cover because of the beautiful chord changes.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #8
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🎧 10 years
Funny enough, I only recently had to learn "Say A Little Prayer," not realizing that it had been such a significant element of "My Best Friend's Wedding." But hey, I'm glad I learned it! Interesting phrasing, odd time changes, and it's a hit with people who love the movie while also being a genuinely good classic soul tune.

Lianne LaHavas is an absolute treasure. Her first record was on repeat for me after it came out. I won't necessarily say that her version of this song is better than Aretha's, but it's probably about equivalent, and that in itself is saying quite a bit.
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Progger ➡️
Funny enough, I only recently had to learn "Say A Little Prayer," not realizing that it had been such a significant element of "My Best Friend's Wedding." But hey, I'm glad I learned it! Interesting phrasing, odd time changes, and it's a hit with people who love the movie while also being a genuinely good classic soul tune.

Lianne LaHavas is an absolute treasure. Her first record was on repeat for me after it came out. I won't necessarily say that her version of this song is better than Aretha's, but it's probably about equivalent, and that in itself is saying quite a bit.
Oh yes they go crazy on those changes, but keep the song palatable still. That seems to be the genius to me. Equivalence agreed, it's a bold statement for anyone to make a part of Aretha their own and for her to do it so well shows that worthiness to me personally. I always played Green and Gold off that record. Have you ever heard of Esperanza Spalding? She's kind of a Jazzy Lianne equivalent to me. She also walks bass and sings and it's so impressive.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #10
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🎧 10 years
Funny enough, I have a bunch of mutual friends with Esperanza! She went to Berklee with some good friends of mine, and she lived in Austin for a while as well. She's quite brilliant, for sure, great singer/bassist/writer. She deserves her success, without question.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #11
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Progger ➡️
Lianne LaHavas is an absolute treasure. Her first record was on repeat for me after it came out. I won't necessarily say that her version of this song is better than Aretha's, but it's probably about equivalent, and that in itself is saying quite a bit.
I worked on some really early demos with her. Even then - she was really a bit scatty and all over the place - she had something quite unique. great to see her success!
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Progger ➡️
Funny enough, I have a bunch of mutual friends with Esperanza! She went to Berklee with some good friends of mine, and she lived in Austin for a while as well. She's quite brilliant, for sure, great singer/bassist/writer. She deserves her success, without question.
That's crazy! What a small world. Music seems to really be everywhere in social circles like that. What's it called? The David Bowie or Kevin Bacon effect? Where anyone you know is like 7 person->person connections away from David (or Kevin).
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey ➡️
I worked on some really early demos with her. Even then - she was really a bit scatty and all over the place - she had something quite unique. great to see her success!
You've worked with Lianne? That's awesome! I bet it's more than fulfilling to see an artist you saw potential in fill that as their career progresses. Awesome to hear you were a part of it.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #14
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by iFi audio ➡️
You've worked with Lianne? That's awesome! I bet it's more than fulfilling to see an artist you saw potential in fill that as their career progresses. Awesome to hear you were a part of it.
It was a long time ago and I don't think anything we did went anywhere, so I think "being a part of it" is a bit of a stretch! but yes it's cool to see an artist you first met doing demos take off.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #15
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by iFi audio ➡️
I hear you lol. My first band (more of a jazz band) started with Moondance too. "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" is an amazing tune I enjoy as well.
Love the list too. Lots of good soul favorites. Did you ever play "Say a Little Prayer"? It was by Aretha Franklin, but I love the Lianne La Havas cover because of the beautiful chord changes.
Actually, Aretha’s version of “say a little prayer” was a cover - the original was written, arranged and produced by Burt Bacharach and sung by Dionne Warwick

I never liked what Aretha did with this tune - IMO, she took a little too much liberty with the melody - reducing its charm and intimacy. However, Burt never liked his own version, stating in the liner notes of the 4 cd collection he felt it too fast.

As a an aside, the song was written during the Vietnam era and is set as a POV of a woman awaiting word on the status of her soldier husband, boyfriend, friend etc., it resonated as a 60s metaphor to anyone at home in such a situation.

Pretty good tune, too - as mentioned, the time changes flow nicely.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #16
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharp11 ➡️
Pretty good tune, too - as mentioned, the time changes flow nicely.
A lot of Bacharach's work is a little bit short-attention-span. Why space things out by a whole bar when a beat or two will do? I suspect that Lennon and McCartney had had some Burt in their heads when they did the same thing in songs like Good Day Sunshine and Good Morning, Good Morning.

And I agree about Aretha's version. Bugs me in particular that she always leaves the title lyric to the BGV ladies.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #17
iFi audio
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey ➡️
It was a long time ago and I don't think anything we did went anywhere, so I think "being a part of it" is a bit of a stretch! but yes it's cool to see an artist you first met doing demos take off.
Seems to be the nature of the beast! My hard drive has become equal parts working projects as a project graveyard. Either way, great artist to work with for sure!
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharp11 ➡️
Actually, Aretha’s version of “say a little prayer” was a cover - the original was written, arranged and produced by Burt Bacharach and sung by Dionne Warwick

I never liked what Aretha did with this tune - IMO, she took a little too much liberty with the melody - reducing its charm and intimacy. However, Burt never liked his own version, stating in the liner notes of the 4 cd collection he felt it too fast.

As a an aside, the song was written during the Vietnam era and is set as a POV of a woman awaiting word on the status of her soldier husband, boyfriend, friend etc., it resonated as a 60s metaphor to anyone at home in such a situation.

Pretty good tune, too - as mentioned, the time changes flow nicely.
Wonderful backstory. Thank you for correcting me, as I had no idea that was the origin of the tune! Makes sense given the meaning as well. Do you or @ Brent Hahn have any thoughts on Lianne's rendition?
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #19
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by iFi audio ➡️
Wonderful backstory. Thank you for correcting me, as I had no idea that was the origin of the tune! Makes sense given the meaning as well. Do you or @ Brent Hahn have any thoughts on Lianne's rendition?
I've heard two or three different versions. Lovely voice. I think she puts the song on display nicely. I love that gorgeous chordal vibrato thing she does with her fretting hand. The first time I heard whichever version, I remember being bumped by her time falling apart here and there, and couldn't really tell if it was an artistic choice or inadvertent. Having heard different versions a few times, I'm leaning toward inadvertent. As a rhythm section player, that stuff drives me a little nuts, really takes me out of the moment.
Old 1 week ago
  #20
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Brown Eyed Girl. As much as bands hate to play it, people still love to hear it.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbvoxx ➡️
Brown Eyed Girl. As much as bands hate to play it, people still love to hear it.
I once worked at a Brazilian restaurant with a waitress whose parents rented a room to Van Morrison. He hated playing it, too. But not as much as Domino.

Last edited by Brent Hahn; 1 week ago at 02:22 AM..
Old 1 week ago
  #22
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn ➡️
A lot of Bacharach's work is a little bit short-attention-span. Why space things out by a whole bar when a beat or two will do? I suspect that Lennon and McCartney had had some Burt in their heads when they did the same thing in songs like Good Day Sunshine and Good Morning, Good Morning.

And I agree about Aretha's version. Bugs me in particular that she always leaves the title lyric to the BGV ladies.
I often feel part of the genius of the Beatles is that they did all the same sort of stuff "tutored" talent lick Bacharach did, but they did it entirely by feel and ear, rather than having learned it. And that you had 2 people who found each other in a small city with that ability is a literally once in a lifetime event.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn ➡️
I've heard two or three different versions. Lovely voice. I think she puts the song on display nicely. I love that gorgeous chordal vibrato thing she does with her fretting hand. The first time I heard whichever version, I remember being bumped by her time falling apart here and there, and couldn't really tell if it was an artistic choice or inadvertent. Having heard different versions a few times, I'm leaning toward inadvertent. As a rhythm section player, that stuff drives me a little nuts, really takes me out of the moment.
Certainly early on, she was very inconsistent timing-wise. Presumably she's got better...but clearly not entirely!
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #23
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by iFi audio ➡️
Wonderful backstory. Thank you for correcting me, as I had no idea that was the origin of the tune! Makes sense given the meaning as well. Do you or @ Brent Hahn have any thoughts on Lianne's rendition?
She has a nice voice, but she sings the melody wrong (she leaves out the octave skips under “put on my make up”. Also, not sure how she counts the chorus - it’s simply two bars of four four, and a bar of three - she sort of drags her way through it.

Still, I applaud her for taking on the tune, one with chord changes and a melody! How rare today.
Old 1 week ago
  #24
Gear Maniac
 
Mustang Sally was always the cover that everyone I knew hated to play. I don't remember anyone really requesting it but we would always end up playing it for some reason, maybe we thought it was expected of us or maybe because of that Commitments movie which was popular at one point. But it was a cover most musicians I knew loathed.
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  #25
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by sean8877 ➡️
Mustang Sally was always the cover that everyone I knew hated to play. <> it was a cover most musicians I knew loathed.
Groove players love that kind of thing. Count me in. Especially if it's on a wedding gig and it's 5 minutes where I don't have to fake my way through all the changes to "The Lady Is a Tramp."
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #26
iFi audio
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn ➡️
I've heard two or three different versions. Lovely voice. I think she puts the song on display nicely. I love that gorgeous chordal vibrato thing she does with her fretting hand. The first time I heard whichever version, I remember being bumped by her time falling apart here and there, and couldn't really tell if it was an artistic choice or inadvertent. Having heard different versions a few times, I'm leaning toward inadvertent. As a rhythm section player, that stuff drives me a little nuts, really takes me out of the moment.
Sure thing! Some renditions aren't for all listeners. Took me quite a few listens to get where those starts and stops happened, but the vibrato was so silky. It sticks in your head after a while!
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sean8877 ➡️
Mustang Sally was always the cover that everyone I knew hated to play. I don't remember anyone really requesting it but we would always end up playing it for some reason, maybe we thought it was expected of us or maybe because of that Commitments movie which was popular at one point. But it was a cover most musicians I knew loathed.
Nice, nice. There's always that one tune. The people want to hear what they want to hear, question is when in the set do you give it to them?
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #28
iFi audio
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn ➡️
Groove players love that kind of thing. Count me in. Especially if it's on a wedding gig and it's 5 minutes where I don't have to fake my way through all the changes to "The Lady Is a Tramp."
That's a good classic as well! Personal fan of Tony Bennet and Lady Gaga's rendition, but it's such a classic tune.
If you're only on rhythm though, I can see how any ii-V based tune could get a little old to the ear.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #29
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by iFi audio ➡️
If you're only on rhythm though, I can see how any ii-V based tune could get a little old to the ear.
Yep, I'm only on rhythm.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn ➡️
Yep, I'm only on rhythm.
Do you have a particular guitar that's done you well for rhythm gigs over the years? Depending on style...I'd throw a wild guess that it may be a sort of a semi-hollow.
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