As I sat at Kicaster's this weekend for Southern Strangers and Kyle Reed Band I thought about what I was going to write about for this blog. I didn't post too much last week. Inspiration didn't really strike me as much as it has in the past month or so. In the midst of enjoying my beverages and chatting with friends a little bulb went off. The importance of choosing cover songs wisely. The cover song says a lot about the individuals playing it. It shows the fans who your influences are. Gives the audience insight to someone they might not have heard before. Lastly it allows the band to have a little fun interpreting the song in a new way that you or I hadn't thought of. Songs have to be done justly though...It is a big pet peeve of mine when lyrics are forgotten or the song is half ass...Especially if you cover my favorite Chris Knight song (It ain't easy being me) or any of his songs...Just do it right, that's all I ask. A great example of choosing really well thought out cover songs is Kyle Reed Band. Kyle does write his own stuff and he does a wonderful job with it. What Kyle does though with the cover songs he chooses is make them all his own. He chooses songs that to my knowledge not very many people are choosing to cover. Everything from Adam Hood to Whiskeytown to Drive-By Truckers.
Charlie Hager and the Captain Lengedary Band (super long name) did something that really got my attention and caused me to focus when they played at Kicaster's this past month. They started their first set with covers of Willis Alan Ramsey and Rodney Crowell. This goes back to showing the audience who influences you and why we the audience should pay attention. It certainly got my attention and made me take notice of the rest of their music.
It is important to think about what not everyone else is doing when it comes to cover songs. I can't tell you how many times I have heard "The Weight" and "Are you sure Hank done it this way?". I am pretty sure Hank did it that way and so did the other 100, 000 bands out there doing this song.
I decided to post some videos of good cover song choices.
Here is Kyle and Court Nance in some footage of different songs they do during a show. I need to check out a Court Nance show soon. Also a special appearance is made by Seth Candan another name I need to check out this year.
Kyle and Luke Huggins doing Goodnight Moon.
Roadside Libby doing 16 days by Whiskeytown. If you are going to cover this song you have to do it with the fiddle...you just have to.
A little Ray Lamontagne cover.
Adam Hood covering my favorite Darrell Scott tune.
I couldn't find a video for Captain Legendary Band but here is the album version of North East Texas Women.