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  #1  
Old 01-11-2019, 11:53 AM
wguitar wguitar is offline
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Default Contemporary Songs For Us Boomers to Play at Gigs

Hi,

I am 60-something and play mostly 50's - 80's at gigs (mostly lower key, coffeehouse sort of gigs). "Strumming" kind of player. The most current things I play are Zak Brown (Toes) and Wagon Wheel (don't really like the song, but crowd seems to), and maybe a few others. My music ranges from the Everly Brother / Buddy Holly to The Buckinghams / Beatles to Jimmy Buffet to Tom Petty (American Girl) and Journey (Any Way You Want It) -- and many others. Any ideas for "quick learn" songs from the 1990's thru present. I'm not trying to be a cool, 2019 hipster, but want to throw a few current songs in here or there for the audience. THANKS!
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Old 01-11-2019, 05:54 PM
Mandobart Mandobart is offline
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People are always asking this, with good reason. Your best move is to go to the venues you want to play as a listener and observer. You'll see and hear what works with those audiences a lot better than what the well-meaning forum members suggest based on our experience in a totally different area.

I play a lot of new music by artists no one has ever heard of. It works for me, but it might not work for you.
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Old 01-12-2019, 08:16 AM
wguitar wguitar is offline
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Thanks Mando.
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Old 01-12-2019, 08:35 AM
6L6 6L6 is offline
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I too used to enjoy years of gigs playing classic 50/60/70's music both in a Band and as a solo artist. No more...

At 73 I'm lucky to get one or two paid gigs/yr. Our Band folded in 2012 after 27 years of playing corporate gigs in the San Francisco Bay Area. The reason was simple: The folks who loved our music retired and were replaced by younger folks who considered it "Their parents music, not their own".

We didn't adjust because we didn't want to. The current music held no interest for us and so the inevitable happened and the phone stopped ringing.

Luckily for me, I play two great Open Mics/wk where i don't get paid, but get together with a lot of like-minded musicians and have a lot of fun.

If you want to keep playing and get paid for it, you're on the right track to learn contemporary tunes. The more the better!
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Old 01-12-2019, 10:23 AM
Mr. Jelly Mr. Jelly is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mandobart View Post
People are always asking this, with good reason. Your best move is to go to the venues you want to play as a listener and observer. You'll see and hear what works with those audiences
This is the best idea really. Other factors not mentioned are that the ground work has already been done for you. Songs that others play live usually have been vetted for being fairly easily played live and the audience has been conditioned to receive them favorably. Be careful not to put to much weight into older entertainers as you may be trading your old material for theirs.
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Old 01-12-2019, 01:54 PM
wguitar wguitar is offline
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Wise guidance from ALL - Thanks! One thing us boomers have going for us musically is that the young folks continue to love classic rock (Everly Brothers and Buddy Holly not so much). Then again, here in Western NY state younger bands have taken a renewed interest in rockabilly music which is fun to listen to! MR. Jelly -- how do you like your K&K mini ? I just purchased a Larrivee OM-40R with a K&K mini (should arrive Monday) and have heard awesome things about it.
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Old 01-12-2019, 02:05 PM
superbitterdave superbitterdave is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 6L6 View Post
I too used to enjoy years of gigs playing classic 50/60/70's music both in a Band and as a solo artist. No more...

At 73 I'm lucky to get one or two paid gigs/yr. Our Band folded in 2012 after 27 years of playing corporate gigs in the San Francisco Bay Area. The reason was simple: The folks who loved our music retired and were replaced by younger folks who considered it "Their parents music, not their own".

We didn't adjust because we didn't want to. The current music held no interest for us and so the inevitable happened and the phone stopped ringing.

Luckily for me, I play two great Open Mics/wk where i don't get paid, but get together with a lot of like-minded musicians and have a lot of fun.

If you want to keep playing and get paid for it, you're on the right track to learn contemporary tunes. The more the better!


Also being in the Bay Area, Iím curious which Open Mics you go . . .

Cheers

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Old 01-12-2019, 06:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wguitar View Post
Hi,

I am 60-something and play mostly 50's - 80's at gigs (mostly lower key, coffeehouse sort of gigs). "Strumming" kind of player. The most current things I play are Zak Brown (Toes) and Wagon Wheel (don't really like the song, but crowd seems to), and maybe a few others. My music ranges from the Everly Brother / Buddy Holly to The Buckinghams / Beatles to Jimmy Buffet to Tom Petty (American Girl) and Journey (Any Way You Want It) -- and many others. Any ideas for "quick learn" songs from the 1990's thru present. I'm not trying to be a cool, 2019 hipster, but want to throw a few current songs in here or there for the audience. THANKS!
Don't gig much anymore but I can offer couple suggestions

" I Lived" by One Republic

And " Ends of the Earth " by Lord Huron

I play "I Lived" capoed 2 it's just G form and C form with an Em added on the second section of the verses and on the chorus .

Both of these are much more rocked up and have some great vocal harmony
But none the less because of the chord progressions they actually lend themselves well to acoustic rendition.




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Old 01-21-2019, 01:01 PM
Laughingboy68 Laughingboy68 is offline
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I play mostly older stuff as well, but having a few current songs will often open the ear of a younger audience and make them more likely to appreciate the stuff in your comfort zone.

Hereís a few I do from the last 20 years or so:

3 am - Matchbox 20
All These Things That Iíve Done - The Killers
All Will Be Well - Gabe Dixon
American Kids - Kenny Chesney
Banshee Beat - Animal Collective
Beacon Hill - Damien Jurado
Between the Bars - Elliott Smith
Blue - Jayhawks
Car Crash - Matt Nathanson
Chateau Lobby #4 - Father John Misty
Come On Get Higher - Matt Nathanson
Crazy - Gnarls Barkley
Do You Believe Me Now? - Jimmy Wayne
Donít Let Me Go - Mikal Cronin
Drink You Away - Justin Timberlake
Electric Feel - MGMT
Everlong - Foo Fighters
Fake Plastic Trees - Radiohead
Feel It Still - Portugal the Man
Fire Away - Chris Stapleton
Grenade - Bruno Mars
Hannah Hunt - Vampire Weekend
High and Dry - Radiohead
Hey Jealousy - Gin Blossoms
I Donít Want to Be - Gavin DeGraw
I Took a Pill in Ibiza - Mike Posner
Iím Yours - Jason Mraz
In Color - Jamey Johnson
Inside Out - Eve 6
Interstate Love Song - Stone Temple Pilots
Iris - Goo Goo Dolls
Just Like Heaven - The Cure
Laid - James
Locked in the Trunk of a Car - The Tragically Hip
Lost On You - LP
Love Song - Sara Bareilles
Mixtape - Butch Walker
Monster Ballads - Josh Ritter
Mr. Brightside - The Killers
New Slang - The Shins
No Such Thing - John Mayer
Out of My Head - Fastball
Pretty Pimpiní - Kurt Vile
Road Regrets - Dan Mangan
Rock Ďní Roll - Eric Hutchinson
Royals - Lorde
Since U Been Gone - Kelly Clarkson
Skinny Love - Bon Iver
Somebody That I Used to Know - Gotye
Somebody Told Me - The Killers
Somewhere With You - Kenny Chesney
Speak in Rounds - Grizzly Bear
State of Love and Trust - Pearl Jam
Stuck Between Stations - The Hold Steady
Take You Mama Out - Scissor Sisters
Tennessee Whiskey - Chris Stapleton
The Promise - Sturgill Simpson
The Suburbs - Arcade Fire
The Temptation of Adam - Josh Ritter
The Way - Fastball
There Is a Light That Never Goes Out - The Smiths
There She Goes - The Laís
Three Pistols - The Tragically Hip
Time To Pretend - MGMT
Two Headed Boy - Neutral Milk Hotel
Weak in the Knees - Serena Ryder
Weight - Mikal Cronin
What Are You Listening To? - Chris Stapleton
Wheat Kings - The Tragically Hip
When the Stars Go Blue - Ryan Adams
Winning Streak - Glen Hansard
You Go Down Smooth - Lake Street Dive
Youíll Think of Me - Keith Urban

As I look back on this list, some of them are more than 20 years old, so they ainít exactly the Top 40. There might be a few that suit you.

I didnít include the Jason Isbell songs on my list. There are a couple dozen of those. Alabama Pines, Cover Me Up, Songs She Sang in the Shower might work for you. He rarely writes a bad song.

Good luck
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  #10  
Old 01-21-2019, 02:33 PM
wguitar wguitar is offline
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Thanks LaughingBoy! Your last comments made me chuckle because I'll find myself looking for "current" songs only to learn they're from the 1990's or early 2000's. Will check some of these out.
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Old 01-21-2019, 02:38 PM
brad2001 brad2001 is offline
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REM's Automatic for the People and New Adventures in Hi Fi have some guitar songs
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Old 01-21-2019, 02:45 PM
Silly Moustache Silly Moustache is offline
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Hi, here's (hears?) a thought.

The older songs that you have in your repertoire now may be brand new to the coffee drinking youngsters.
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Old 01-21-2019, 03:05 PM
Nymuso Nymuso is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silly Moustache View Post
The older songs that you have in your repertoire now may be brand new to the coffee drinking youngsters.
This. And I will add that any song that is done well can be a crowd pleaser.
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Old 01-21-2019, 06:49 PM
wguitar wguitar is offline
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Silly and Nymuso,

Great perspectives -- and so very true!
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Old 01-22-2019, 01:56 PM
quiltingshirley quiltingshirley is offline
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Thereís a new one out by Train called ďPlay that SongĒ to the tune of Heart & Soul you might want to try. Already having the tune in your head helps some of the newer style singing for me.
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