An article in the New York Times got me thinking about cover bands and the love/hate relationship I have with them (as a music fan and as a musician who likes to play songs I have created). Check it out here.
My band, The Luxury Kings, are not getting gigs much anymore. Our fans are now 35-45 and have kids, live in the suburbs, and don’t go to see bands too often. The band members themselves are finding themeselves in the same situation (with kids or kids on the way, not getting out to see bands much…).
We are considering having an “alter-ego” band that plays all cover songs so we can gig out 1-2 times a month on a Friday or Saturday and not have to beg people we know to get a babysitter and drive 20 miles to see us. Playing blues used to be the way to do this here (Atlanta) but the blues scene has dried up with nearly all of the clubs closing in the last 2 years (and the same 20 bands looking for a gig at three places that are about to close as well). Sports bars are our only hope…
Here is my question: Is there a way to put together a “cool” cover band?
Where do “cool song,” “song I can stand to play,” “song that girls will dance to,” and “cover songs that will get you booked” intersect?
Some of it is me, If I was a big Bon Jovi, Dave Matthews, and Maroon 5 fan I could make this work. I’m not, and I will not play the “Margaritaville”/”Brown-Eyed Girl”/”Old Time Rock and Roll”/”Sweet Home Alabama” stuff…no way.
I came up with a few songs that fit my critera. I am open to suggestions and or advice. (I need 30 or so to make a set list.)
Stevie Wonder – Superstition
Bob Marley/Eric Clapton – I Shot The Sheriff
The Rolling Stones – Satisfaction
Lenny Kravitz – Always On The Run
U2 – Angel of Harlem
The Beatles/Cheap Trick – Day Tripper
Cheap Trick – Surrender
Hendrix/Derek and the Dominos/Sting – Little Wing
CCR – Fortunate Son
David Bowie – Ziggy Stardust
My drummer suggested “Better Be Good To Me,” by Tina Turner. People know it, we would sound like us (37-year-old white guys), and we have never heard it covered before. My beef is that it’s not a “great” song and I’d rather play songs I really think are fantastic.
of course if we don’t play what “The People” want, we will just be playing other people’s songs to nobody….
Help me out Townspeople!