As a live performing musician, most paying gigs are cover gigs. It has actually become an interesting job. Sure, there are definitely those songs that you always hear people play and they’re great songs. However, some folks want to hear something a little different every now and then. There are so many other good artists and excellent songs out there as well. When I do cover gigs, I enjoy picking some of my favorite songs and sharing them even if no one knows who it is or have heard it before. I often throw my own original stuff into the mix as well and honestly, no one can tell the difference.
I often get told that I sound like John Mayer. So of course, I’m going to have some Mayer in my setlist. We do have a similar style but I still don’t think I sound like him. You are more than welcome to listen to a few of my originals over on the sidebar if interested. I’m not going to be offended if you don’t. However, I usually play a handful of jams by John mostly because he is an excellent guitar player and songwriter. I enjoy putting my own twist on his stuff and having fun with it. ‘Good love is on the way’ is one of my favorites to play mostly because of all the hammer-ons and pull-offs and I just like playing in the key of A. I’m usually optimistic and keep an open mind about all the crazy life stuff happening so I really dig the lyrics as well. There is always good love out there. I think the real question comes down to how vulnerable you want to be.
John Mayer – Good Love is on the way
I was playing a corporate gig in early 2016 when I had a client request a song ahead of time by Tedeschi Trucks Band. I had actually never even heard of them until then. Only one listen to Susan Tedeschi’s powerful, soul-driven voice and Derek Trucks’ insane slide guitar and I was hooked. I have arranged my own acoustic version of this jam and still include it nightly in my setlist.
Tedeschi Trucks Band – Midnight in Harlem
Eric Clapton is, by far, one of the biggest influences on my music career. This wasn’t always the case. I began playing guitar somewhere around ’87 and was heavily influenced by 80’s rock and hair metal. A few years later, I heard the ‘Unplugged’ album. I became completely obsessed! I learned ‘Tears in heaven’ and performed in a 6th-grade talent contest. Then, I learned every song. I began to learn the roots of that playing style. From then on, I started fingerpicking and haven’t looked back. Here is a video of me playing another one of my favorite Clapton jams and showing my fingerpicking skills. I’ll leave you with this unplugged version of Clapton’s classic hit, ‘Layla’ that I play every night.
Eric Clapton – Layla
David Bowie was always an interesting artist to me. He wasn’t necessarily an influence on me as a musician as much as he was an artist. He was unique and original in everything he did. He did things the way he wanted no matter what people said or thought. Sure, drugs probably helped fuel his passion but either way, it was on fire and it radiated. As with any artist, it takes a certain amount of talent, skill, ambition, and determination combined with enough courage to make it all happen. It doesn’t even matter who it is. Once you see this, you will be inspired like never before.
David Bowie – Man who Sold the World
Ah, Yes! Steve Miller Band. So many goodies here as well. ‘Joker’ is often the one you always hear acoustic artists play but only a few are able to pull it off and really give it justice. ‘Fly like an eagle’ is one of the few songs I use a loop pedal on. Honestly, I am not a fan of the loop pedals so much. Maybe that’s because I spent so many years learning how to accompany my vocals and guitar playing derived from thumb-driven bass lines and multiple string melodies integrated into simple chord progressions. Or maybe I just don’t want to have you listen to a loop for 5 minutes before I start the song. However, pedals can be fun and they definitely switch things up. I keep this one pretty simple. I enjoy being able to bang on my guitar and add that funky drum beat to the loop ultimately making this one song that def hits my setlist every gig.
Steve Miller Band – Fly like an Eagle