Mudcat Café Message Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafeawe

User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Wrinkles Do You Perform or Record Covers? (47) RE: Do You Perform or Record Covers? 08 Apr 05

It's been a _long_ time since I performed professionally, but when I did my set was about one third my own stuff. Never did "covers" as such though; _interpretations_ on the other hand....

If I loved a song, if it really meant something to me, then I'd want to perform it and use _my_ emotions to deliver to the audience the meaning the song had for me, ie my own "take" on it. Sometimes my take was subtle; just a different emphasis in the lyrics; and sometimes much more radical - from very different arrangements from the original to "tweaking" the lyrics and melody.

I don't really see any other way to learn new rhythms, progressions, keys, harmonies, _except_ by doing something new to you. Otherwise you just get stuck inside the limits of your skill and knowledge. Other people's tunes expanded the vocabulary of what I could do, and eventually that vocabulary would be incorporated in my own work.

As for artists that do only their own stuff, well, there's Greats who do/did that; guys like Harry Chapin or Jim Croce for example, and Greats who do very few of their own numbers; such as Maggie Holland or Christy Moore - which just goes to show the truth of what's been said in this thread - the Performance is the thing - not the composer. The Singer/Songwriters I've admired are the ones who put as much effort and craft into their performance as their composition. (BTW: rather than singer/songwriter I've always preferred the term Harry Chapin used; Songsmith; for people who put effort into every aspect of their craft including the performance).

But most of the artists I know of who stuck exclusively to their own stuff were pretty mediocre - if they'd put other people's stuff into their set then their own work may have suffered from the comparison!

I remember the example of one Irish girl who wrote and performed what I called "music to test drive Prozac to" who for some reason decided to put her interpretation of Christy Moore's "Ride On" on her 2nd album (with Davy Spillane on pipes) - and BANG! It was possibly the most spine tingling awesome version ever done. Huge air-time hit on Irish Radio too! But it didn't half make her own stuff look like crap; I wasn't the only one who bought her album just to tape Ride On off of it!


Post to this Thread -

Back to the Main Forum Page

By clicking on the User Name, you will requery the forum for that user. You will see everything that he or she has posted with that Mudcat name.

By clicking on the Thread Name, you will be sent to the Forum on that thread as if you selected it from the main Mudcat Forum page.

By clicking on the Subject, you will also go to the thread as if you selected it from the original Forum page, but also go directly to that particular message.

By clicking on the Date (Posted), you will dig out every message posted that day.

Try it all, you will see.