Need song ideas....

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by badstonebass, Jan 2, 2016.

  1. badstonebass


    Jun 7, 2006
    I know this gets beat to death around here but I still need to ask.

    I play in a classic rock cover band that is popular and has good gigs. The band has a 20 year history and at 53 I am the youngest member. We play exactly what you would expect. However we always keep one foot forward into the decade by trying to add a good mix of music as we draw young and old alike to our gigs.

    Problem is we are having a REALLY hard time finding newer stuff that we can get any traction with. It has become somewhat of an issue because we have always been able to work it out in the past.

    Anybody having any luck with any popular rock songs gaining traction in their sets? If so what? Even 90's or NEWER?
  2. Lobster11

    Lobster11 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2006
    Williamsburg, VA
    One way to go might be to find classic rock songs that have been covered more recently by other popular bands. One that occurs to me off the top of my head is the Black Crowes' version of "Hard to Handle." The young-uns will know the newer version, and the old folks will remember the original.
    JackANSI and hrodbert696 like this.
  3. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member

    How current are you looking for? "Retro" is a big thing now. The lucky thing about that is that there are a number of bands whose music fits pretty seamlessly with a classic rock act. Black Keys tunes, for instance, like Gold on the Ceiling or Howling for You, or Gotta Get Away off their last album. My new band is adding Elle King's Exes and Oh's, good tune if you have a female singer.

    EDIT: not really major popular, but there are some songs from a band called Needtobreathe that also blend in pretty well - Prisoner, Girl Named Tennessee, or Feet Don't Fail Me Now.
  4. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA
    The Black Crowe's recorded their version in 1989 (released in 1990), so the "youn-uns" must have a pretty long memory. You are onto something, though: The Black Crowes version is on Rock Band, which re-popularized a bunch of *older rock songs to younger audiences starting around 2007. Not all the songs available for the game will be widely recognized, but you might start by skimming the songs included with each major release. Here, for example, is the list of songs released w/ Rock Band 2.

    *By older, I mean songs that aren't current hits—so not only rock and 1980s oldies, but also rock songs from the 1990s on.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2016
    lancimouspitt likes this.
  5. tycobb73


    Jul 23, 2006
    Grand Rapids MI
    Blink 182, no doubt, Jack white, green day, weezer, ginger blossoms of the top of my head
  6. samson3382


    Apr 26, 2009
    Boise, Idaho
    Way better than the actual name.:D
    Luke19Boarder likes this.
  7. swamp_bass

    swamp_bass I love it when a groove comes together

    Nov 20, 2013
    North Cackalacky
    I was at a New Year's event that had a live band, and they absolutely killed it with a mix of old and new. They played a mix that spanned from Brick House to the very current Shut Up and Dance With Me by Walk The Moon. It was well received by a crowd of mixed ages.

    Here's their repertoire: :: Music

    They were also impressively tight, transitioning from one song to the next seamlessly almost as a DJ would do. Bassist and drummer were solid af.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2016
    hrodbert696 likes this.
  8. andruca


    Mar 31, 2004
    Madrid (Spain)
    Some Foo Fighters stuff can't hurt.
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  9. whatizitman


    Sep 9, 2014
    I think this is hard - internet/corporate radio, and the increasing silos of genre, and all. There has never been more published rock music, but there are fewer 'hits' that transcend enough for an audience to collectively relate to. Country cover bands seem to have it easier than rock bands, though. Nashville is expected to have a certain look and feel. Rock is supposed to be unique and individual, which is why it sucks so bad when it's all carbon copy. That's how I make sense of it all, I guess.

    The radio is was what made hits, and subsequently, need for cover bands. Rock radio is but a shell of its former self now, though. I think what still exists is marketed primarily toward older demographics. My kids watch youtube. Radio is for news, as far as they're concerned.

    I can't think of too much mainstream current rock I wouldn't mind hearing a nice cover. Stuff from the 90s should go over fairly well, though. Green Day, Foo Fighters, Pearl Jam, Weezer? Early 2000s had some good stuff, just less of it - Jet, Killers? But newer bands, I'm at a loss. Actual hits from rock bands currently are the exception (Black Keys). Even on the "alternative" stations, which is where I think most "hits" are these days, the main singles are 80s/synth pop retro-inspired. How that might go over in a cover band situation is anyone's guess.

    On the corporate "rock" stations, it's all that bro-metal band sound. I don't think they would work that great in a variety rock cover band. Too generic and silo'd - I can't tell one band/song from another. How do you even choose which song to cover? Maybe a great mashup would work, at least for novelty. Like that youtube video of several country songs mixed together in a DAW? Priceless.
  10. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Yup - to to find older stuff that has been covered recently. One of the top 40 female singers covered it recently - keep looking at that.
  11. fretter


    May 24, 2012
    In today's radio market, bands like AC/DC, Van Halen, and Motley Crue are considered classic rock.

    For what used to be called classic rock, Stone Sour (Slipknot singer's other band) just covered Gimme Shelter. Five Finger Death Punch recently covered House of the Rising Sun, and the song Bad Company.

    I suggest throwing in some modern country covers, if you don't already. That's where rock music's gone. In many parts of Pennsylvania, the country rock station is the only one you get with a good signal.
  12. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    From what I see - 80s is the new "classic rock" - what middle age people grew up listening to. I'm playing a lot of songs that I used to play when they were hits.
  13. whatizitman


    Sep 9, 2014
    Ryan Adams just released a complete Taylor Swift album cover... album. Other than the ridiculously delicious irony of it all, this is of little use to this conversation. It just points to the craziness of the current music biz with regards to the covers issue. And we are all now dumber for knowing it. Thank you. I'll be here all week. Try the shrimp.
  14. p-lo


    Jun 18, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    We are lead vocal and acoustic/guitar/bass/drums all with vocals and are all over the place, 60s to today, with song era.

    As far as newer songs go we have had our best luck with stuff like, Mumford, Avett Brothers, Lumineers, Black Keys, Jack White/Racontuers/White Stripes, Alabama Shakes, Cage the Elephant, Imagine Dragons, Modest Mouse, Foo Fighters, etc. We do a few newer songs that started as stuff we did for ourselves and have ended up going over as well, Gary Clark Jr., JJ Grey & MOFRO, Wilco, Wood Brothers, Queens of the Stone Age.

    Going back a little further we also cover bands like Sublime, Pearl Jam, STP, Beck, Weezer, Radiohead, Beastie Boys, G-Love & Special Sauce etc.
    fretter likes this.
  15. DONZI97


    Dec 24, 2008
    Algonac Michigan
    This is what we do, throw in some new country, maybe Wagon Wheel and your good to go.
    p-lo likes this.
  16. AndreasR


    Oct 23, 2012
    You could also dress up new pop songs in a classic rock colour.
  17. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA
    Just to prime that well, here's "Get Lucky" done in 10 iconic rock guitar styles.
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