Performing Covers With Your Unique Flavor!

Posted on Jan 7 2013 at 08:16:58 PM in Artists

Performing Covers With Your Unique Flavor!

Today we had some fun exploring the different ways to cover a song and listened to several examples of great covers.


That’s right today we played covers that were the "good" kind of bad. All of the show’s topics and music selections are chosen specifically each day to illustrate a point I like to call:


Our Similarities bring us to a common ground; Our Differences allow us to be fascinated by each other.”
- Tom Robbins

Performing a cover is a great way to make an instant connection with your audience; from that common ground you can then introduce your uniqueness! We took some loose inspiration from the following comic illustration:

  • - Admiration by emulating the original’s essence
    When you love the original and you just want to pay your respect with modest changes while still maintaining the original feel of the song. Some examples we played today were Melissa Etheridge’s rendition of “Piece of my Heart,” and the Fugees version of “Killing Me Softly with His Song.”
  • - Change the musical style
    Performing the song in a completely different musical style than the way it was originally recorded. This can be a great way to get your audience’s attention by getting them to see a familiar song in a totally new way. Today we listened to Muse’s version of “Feeling Good,” and FatBoy Slim’s Remix of “The Joker.”
  • - Reinvent it by slathering on your secret sauce
    Getting the attention of your audience by adding some extra passion in your performance compared to the original. Not necessarily better, but markedly different. Today we listened to the Indigo Girls rendition of “Romeo & Juliet” originally recorded by Dire Straits – Amy Ray’s vocals significantly emote an intensity not found in the original. We also played the Cowboy Junkie’s version of “Sweet Jane.” Lou Reed himself described (the Cowboy Junkie’s version) as “the best and most authentic version I have ever heard”.
  • - Raise the bar so high no one realizes you’re actually performing a cover
    This is when you deliver such a stellar performance that really stands out – so much that no one even remembers or realizes you are covering a song. Some examples played during today’s show included Pearl Jam’s rendition of “Last Kiss,” and Annie Lennox performing “No More I Love You’s.”
  • - Show your humorous side with a parody
    Laughter is a great way to connect with your audience – when you use your imagination to give us a giggle it can really pay off! We had some fun today playing The Coats “A Tribute to Vanilla Ice.” In this rendition The Coats capture our attention by changing the rap to Gregorian Chant.


Today we featured Weird Al Yankovic - an artist that has been keeping us laughing for years with his humorous parodies of popular music. Most often Weird Al pokes fun by changing the song lyrics in his unique way that allows us to appreciate the original song in a whole new way. Today we enjoyed his ability to create some interesting contrast by rewriting the lyrics to  ”Gangsta’s Paradise” to “Amish Paradise.” Then we played his rewrite of the Backstreet Boys’ “I Want it That Way” to “What I bought on Ebay.”


Remember you cannot distribute your cover performance legally without obtaining the appropriate license! Here are some sites that can help you find the appropriate license for distributing your cover performance.

  • - HFA
  • - Limelight

Vote for your favorite cover performance here.


Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you’re there. It doesn’t matter what you do, he said, so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that’s like you after you take your hands away. The difference between the man who just cuts lawns and a real gardener is in the touching, he said. The lawn-cutter might just as well not have been there at all; the gardener will be there a lifetime.”  ~Ray Bradbury

So spice up an old favorite with your unique flavor – and make it TASTY!

Your MidDay Muse,



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  Article Information
Author: mintmusic
Created: Jan 7 2013 at 08:16:58 PM
Updated: Jan 7 2013 at 08:16:58 PM
Category: Artists
Language: English