Performing Kent’s Music
Eclectic Verve was conceived not to fulfill Kent’s rock star dreams, but rather to share his gift of music expression. In the fall of 2010, Kent’s mind began to be filled with ideas for original music. Sometimes he would wake up with a melody in his head. Other times, while driving or doing another task he would think of a theme or lyrics for a song. We created a band and publishing company to allow us to share this music with a wide audience. As a result, when we started performing, that is all we desired to do—perform OUR music. We started by singing at Open Mics. As the weeks went by, and we had repeat appearances at some of the venues, it was suggested by one of the hosts that we should learn some cover songs to augment our repertoire. Initially we both balked at the idea. After all, we had created original music which was beginning to receive kudos. Why would we want to waste our time and talent on performing another band’s work?
Covering Other Muscians’ Tunes
Although we had an initial aversion to doing so, we decided to take the advice given and learn a few cover songs. We began by covering a couple Collective Soul tunes—“Shine” and “The World I Know”. The interesting thing was that people seemed to pay more attention to our original music by sandwiching it between the songs from the other band. Another advantage became clear when we were presented with the opportunity to play longer sets. Without the music of other musicians, we only had about 45 minutes of content. We were able to double the length of our performance time by adding in the songs of others.
Thousands of Musicians Equals Millions of Songs:
Which Songs Should We Cover?
Once we had made the decision to start performing some cover songs to augment our own work, the big questions were:
- Which artists? and
- Which songs?
Those questions were not as easy to answer as we had initially thought. We agreed that whether performing our own music or covers, we wanted to preserve the image of Eclectic Verve. Cursing on stage is not really our style, nor are lyrics that are morose or insipid. Since we have been told we sound like Collective Soul, R.E.M. and Toad the Wet Sprocket (to name a few), we thought the music of those bands was a logical place to start.
Cover Song Inclusion Determining Factors
In the end, we decided to focus on reviewing songs that we enjoyed listening to and then determining if:
- the full-band versions could be converted to a single acoustic guitar,
- the music was in Kent’s or my vocal range,
- the lyrics were words we would be able to sing on stage, and
- we could do a rendition that either:
a) sounded like the original performer or
b) was so different, but musically interesting that we felt an audience would enjoy our rendition.
The result for our first longer combined set list is an eclectic mix of songs from The Dave Mathews Band to Fleetwood Mac to Collective Soul to The Cure and many other talented artists in between. We thought the fact that it was so eclectic was very fitting, epitomized Eclectic Verve and complemented our own music nicely.
Short and Long Term Goals
Although we will always be most passionate about performing our own music, we plan to continue to incorporate some covers in our performances until Kent has composed enough music for Eclectic Verve to allow us to perform our own music exclusively.
Since this is a new foray for us, we’d be interested to have other musicians share their experience performing cover songs and we would be interested to hear music listeners share their perspective on bands performing covers.
Please share your thoughts with us below.