Hi all, I got interested in this topic after reading several threads on TB and on another bass-related forum. I'll say in advance, that this question has nothing to do with racism, and please don't even go there. (Moderators, if you see anything ugly in this thread, feel free to delete it). Here's the question. Several of the threads I've been reading have been discussing the "ethnic experience" or "ethnic milieu" that seems to be an important component of certain kinds of music, for instance salsa, or reggae. Several people commented that white bands (and specifically bands with white lead singers) don't usually do very well playing these styles of music. The gist of the comment is that it's somewhat laughable seeing white people trying to salsa, or something incongruous about a white boy singing about Trenchtown with a faux Jamaican accent. And I gotta say, I get some of that same gut reaction when I see that stuff. Now, I'm the farthest thing from a racist there ever was, but I do have a lot of respect for the ethnic origin of music. As a bass player, I like all different kinds of music, and I love playing salsa and reggae. I've even gone way off into ancient Japanese scales and stuff like that. In my opinion, the ethnic component and ethnic origin of some of these flavors of music is a central component of the style. My own viewpoint is, that I can best respect the music by not trying to do covers of songs that I know aren't going to come off well on stage. For instance, I would never try to sing a Bob Marley tune on stage, especially for a black audience. I couldn't do it very well, and for that reason it would be somewhat disrespectful to try (the logic being, that Bob's kind of special when it comes to reggae in general, with the honesty and the strong spiritual content that's evident in his music). I'll play "anything" in the privacy of my own home, or jamming with friends, but in a professional setting I want to try and respect the music as much as possible. But that's just me. I was wondering how other people feel about this. Do any of you cross ethnic boundaries in your cover bands? What's the audience reaction, and does it change according to the audience? I'm mainly asking about cover bands, 'cause I'm totally hip to people doing recordings. Recordings usually put some mental distance between the performer and the audience, and allow the audience to focus on the music instead of the performer. On stage it's different. At least that's my take. Are any of you white folks in reggae or salsa cover bands? Any of you black folks doing death metal or punk rock?