Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Cover Band Essentials?

I'm in a cover band here in Tulsa (no, really... I know I'm not in the pic, but that's cuz I just joined the band), and we are just starting to play here and there. We play restaurants and festivals, and it's generally a lot of fun and an opportunity to make a little (very little) money from time to time. It's a fun gig, and I'm grateful to get to song some pop songs and work with great musicians. We consist of a rhythm section (guitar, bass, drums, keys), horns (trombone, trumpet, sax) and three singers (two guys and a girl).

Here's my question:

In your opinion/experience, what should every cover band be able to play at the drop of a hat? What are the songs you want to hear at a New Year's Eve party or a wedding reception?

Here's the list of the songs we currently do:
  • Always Entertaining Me (The La-La Song) - Original
  • America the Beautiful - Ray Charles
  • Back To You - Original
  • Breathe (2AM) - Anna Nalick
  • Bright Lights - Matchbox 20
  • Come Together - Beatles
  • Crazy - Gnarls Barkley
  • Don’t Know Why - Norah Jones
  • Drops of Jupiter - Train
  • Everything - Michael Buble
  • Everything You Want - Vertical Horizon
  • Fly Away - Lenny Kravitz
  • Fly Like an Eagle - Steve Miller Band/Seal
  • Freedom 90 - George Michael
  • Harder to Breathe - Maroon 5
  • Heaven - Los Lonely Boys
  • How To Save a Life - The Fray
  • I’m Yours - Jason Mraz
  • I Don’t Wanna Be - Gavin DeGraw
  • I Forget to Breathe - Original
  • I Keep Forgettin’ (Every Time You’re Near) - Michael McDonald
  • I Wish - Stevie Wonder
  • If I Ain’t Got You - Alicia Keys
  • Iris - Goo Goo Dolls
  • Isn’t She Lovely - Stevie Wonder
  • Josie - Steely Dan
  • Just Haven't Met You Yet - Michael Buble
  • Life Is A Highway - Rascal Flatts
  • Listen to the Music - Doobie Brothers
  • Living in America - James Brown
  • Love Shack - B-52s
  • Love Song - Sara Bareilles
  • Lucky - Jason Mraz & Colbie Caillat
  • Madly - Tristan Prettyman
  • Many the Miles - Sara Bareilles
  • Minute By Minute - Doobie Brothers
  • Mustang Sally - Wilson Pickett
  • Need You Now - Lady Antebellum
  • One Week - Barenaked Ladies
  • Peg - Steely Dan
  • Pick Up the Pieces - Average White Band
  • Pink Houses - John Mellencamp
  • Please Don’t Leave Me - P!nk
  • Pony (It’s OK) - Erin McCarley
  • R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A. - John Mellencamp
  • Saturday in the Park - Chicago
  • She Is - The Fray
  • Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours - Stevie Wonder
  • Smooth - Santana & Rob Thomas
  • So Much To Say - Dave Matthews Band
  • Superstition - Stevie Wonder
  • Unwind - Original
  • Vertigo - U2
  • Walking in Memphis - Marc Cohn
  • What a Fool Believes - Doobie Brothers
  • What Would You Say - Dave Matthews Band
  • You Make Everything New - Original
  • 25 or 6 to 4 - Chicago
So what do you think? Given our instrumentation, current repertoire and aspirations, what should we cut? What should we add? Talk to me.

(And in the meantime, enjoy a couple of vids from a performance we did at Utica Square last July... Pretty lo-fi but maybe you'll get the idea.)


Carmel said...

Love your list! I created my top 6 before checking yours out (top 3 you got):
1. Pick Up the Pieces
2. Mustang Sally
3. Play That Funky Music
4. I'll Be Around
5. Soul Man
6. I Feel Good
It's always good to hear any of Chicago's stuff; also (I know it's old school, but still) love Hall & Oates stuff. Fits in with the R&B thing. ~ Great stuff here, best wishes!
~ Carmel

Matt Nightingale said...

From my friend Krys on Facebook...

"how fun. i just played with my friend's dance band and had a blast.
Don't Stop Believing is a hit, but may be a bit high...
Play That Funky Music (dancable, super easy, flexible for jamming)
1999 (a must for new years)

Lady Gaga stuff is pretty easy and super-popular with the 20-35 crowd.
And you guys should change the lyrics to the Katy Perry song to Oklahoma Gurls. ;-) people would flip. ;-)
Here's the entire song... V/C- ||:Am Bb | C Dm :|| pre-chorus- ||: C |Dm |Bb |Bb :||"

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