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Underrated bassist : Sheryl Crow

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by NJXT, May 21, 2001.

  1. NJXT


    Jan 9, 2001
    Lyon, FRANCE
    I was watching reruns of the gigantic "Rock in Rio" concert on TV and they showed three songs from Sheryl Crow.
    Currently, I dig her music and voice (not to mention her strong charm ;) ).
    During one song, she played bass (a custom Music Man Stingray, I think) and though she's not technical at all in her playing, her licks were really nice and not just "root, root, fith, root" kind of thing. And she seems to enjoy it.
    She was playing for the song, with a nice "meat and potatoe" rock feeling.
    Nice ...
  2. gweimer


    Apr 6, 2000
    Columbus, OH
    From what I've heard about Sheryl Crow, she's a fairly good all-around musician. People tend to associate her with singing, but she can play as well.
  3. Meat and potatoes playing is what it's all about. Soloing and fancy crap dont mean a thing if ya cant groove!
  4. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    I have two albums and she has played guitar bass and keyboards on various tracks.

    RE meat and potatoes its her on "Every day is a winding road" and on the breakdown section the bass IMHO grooves and sounds like a bassplayer rather than someone who thinks they are.
  5. NJXT


    Jan 9, 2001
    Lyon, FRANCE
    I have all her albums and a DVD (live) that I haven't seen yet.
    I knew she is a good singer / songwiter / performer and guitarist (rythm) but I was surprised and pleased to see her playing bass. And quite well.
  6. brewer9


    Jul 5, 2000
    Sheryl is definately underrated as a musician and singer too, but its partially her own fault. She does mostly pretty mushy poppy stuff that turns more "musically" interested people off. This is to her credit because appealling to the dumb masses is where the big bucks are. But it does lose the "respect" factor.
  7. bootyquake


    Mar 29, 2001
    Washington, DC
    I disagree that her music is somehow insufficient. I've seen her play, and she is a terrific all-around musician. She plays tasty parts and her songwriting is tops. I don't ever need to hear her play Giant Steps to believe that she's accomplished.
  8. brewer9


    Jul 5, 2000
    I'm really not ragging on her. The situation I describe is an unfortunate aspect of all performers. When they get known in a certain light based on their most prominent radio songs, then those define them for better or worse. In Sheryl's case she became known for some cute and appealling but also very poppy liitle tunes. Enough to appeal to a mass audience but also enough to not appeal to more hearty musicians, who won't look into her abilities more thoroughly as a result. Sheryl is excellent but she is known for her radio songs rather than her album songs, just as other groups and performers are.
  9. Funkster

    Funkster Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2000
    Wormtown, MA
    I love Cheryl's music, I have seen her and she does play everything. When I seen her, she played a old maybe a 55 or 56 Pbass for a couple of tunes , it could have been a reissue, I was pretty far away.
    I brought this topic up about 6 months ago and got lambasted by some TB,ers Hmmm, we'll see what happens!
  10. Dave Castelo

    Dave Castelo

    Apr 19, 2000
    you can also check her out in live in Sessions at West 54... she plays bass in some songs (and you can check her technique in close up - Nothing fancy but just fine, she plucks a lot with just one finger :)) and she also has a bassist (male) for other songs
  11. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    You get the whole "woman bassplayer" nonsense that some still ascribe to, Funkster. That's okay, people who are stupid in public can be entertaining.

    I thought the observation about who does and doesn't "respect" Sheryl was probably accurate but I'd like to account for at least one exception to that. I dig what she does album-wise and not just the radio stuff but I love some of her more popular stuff like "All I Wanna Do", which put me to mind of "Stuck in the Middle with You"...same kind of bounce, just puts a smile on my face. There's nothing wrong with that.

    Listening in a box is boring.
  12. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    I'm one of those anal types who is really into technically "tight" music (probably has to do with my German half). However, I really get a kick out the loose style Crowe uses on some of her stuff, like "All I Wanna Do". Clearly, it's the feel that makes the song, and "tight" wouldn't be right for it. Yeah ... fun 'n' bouncy, groovin' ... bmm bmm bmm nah nah nah nah ........
  13. Hategear

    Hategear Workin' hard at hardly workin'.

    Apr 6, 2001
    Appleton, Swissconsin
    I was very pleased to hear the "meat-and-potatoes" analogy. I have been using something similar to describe my own playing style -- "the soup that eats like a meal."
  14. I agree completely. Sheryl's playing is not complex but it always fit's the song perfectly...isn't THAT the mark of a great bass player?

    On a side note, I have been eyeing that sexy bass she often plays. It's a Guild and appears to be semi hollow but that's all I can tell. Anyone have the inside track on that bass?

  15. The guy you are referring to is Tim Smith. Did you know he was in the Producers and Jellyfish too?
  16. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Saw her in the dressing room at the club last night/tonight performing on piano at the benefit for the terrorist attack victims.

    Always thought she was a very good writer, singer, and musician except when she straps on a bass.

    When I've seen her, dwarfed by a Jazz, she looked like someone who had been playing for a not quite a year and had lots of studio buddies to teach her. No mistakes, good elementary hand positioning but root, root, root.... Her status lets her get away with it. But, ya gotta start somewhere and she gets to start at the top.
  17. I think Sheryl Crowe is a very talented musician. She comes from a musical background and writes good lyrics and melodies To top it all she has a great voice and great looks.

    I disagree that her music is aimed at the masses. She has my respect!

    She may get away with simple bass lines (I am grateful for these, as I am planning to perform some of her songs in the near future.) but they are all that is needed - a case of 'less is more'

    I think it must take guts to perform on a bass when you know that you are shoulder to shoulder with accomplished bass players.
  18. Amen, Marty!

    I just thought I'd add my two cents and say that I've always liked her work. I only have one album of hers so I'm not a huge fan, but whenever I see her do anything, it's always tasty and passionate. And just the right amount of passion too, so it's tough to put her into that Top 40 category.

    There was one recording of her doing Austin City Limits a few years back I saw, and it made me appreciate her for much more than just a pretty face and a few cute songs. She played some REAL music! It makes you think about all the great performers out there who only get that one song of theirs played because it sounds commercial and makes some green. The public is never really allowed (I use that word loosely) to see the depth they actually possess as performers.

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