My friend Mike Farmer suddenly got a gig booking acts at this new marina bar on Old Hickory Lake in Hendersonville called Piranha's.
He asked me if I could play 4 hours worth of covers. It's a daunting task for anybody I'd say, but I scrounged my brain and put together a monster list of songs I kind of know. I like to say I can play half of every song. Not necessarily the good half...
Well here's what I ended up coming up with. I threw some TSCo. songs in for good measure and even some from The Chevy Downs Band, a country outfit I had in Bloomington/Indianapolis. Here's a feature "hit" from each of the 4 50-minute set lists.
Family Tradition-Hank Williams Jr.
Can’t Hardly Wait-The Replacements
Silver Wings-Merle Haggard
The Man In Me-Bob Dylan
Oh Lonesome Me-Neil Young
Into the Mystic-Van Morrison
Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow-The Shirlles/Carole King
Heart Like a Wheel-TSCo.
Dock of the Bay-Otis Redding
Time is on My Side-Irma Thomas/Rolling Stones
You’re in My Heart-Rod Stewart
That’s Alright Mama/One Night-Elvis Presley
Ol’ 55-Tom Waits/The Eagles
Jesus, Heal My Hangover-Chevy Downs
Under the Boardwalk-The Drifters
Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain- Willie Nelson
Just Like Tom’s Thumb Blues-Bob Dylan
Sweet Virgina-The Rolling Stones
Roll Another Number for the Road- Neil Young
Bartender’s Blues-George Jones/James Taylor
Save the Last Dance for me-The Drifters
Life’s Little Ups and Downs-Charlie Rich
I Can’t Be Myself When I’m With You- Merle Haggard
All coming back-Tim Jones + Zach Broocke
Don’t Let me Down-The Beatles
Out on the weekend/ I Shall Be Released-Neil Young/Bob Dylan & the Band
Back In Your love-TSCO
Pick Up My Pieces- Willie Nelson
You Ain’t Goin Nowhere-Bob Dylan
Whisky Cards and Women-Chevy Downs
Overboard/Tracks of My Tears/I’m Your Puppet-Tim Jones/Smokey Robinson/Spooner Oldham/Dan Penn
You make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman-Carole King/Aretha
The News-Old Pike
Lost Highway- Hank Williams
Tennessee Blues -Bobby Charles
Everyone Needs a Hand to Hold On To- John Cougar Mellencamp
Games People Play-Joe South
Country Time-Chevy Downs
Little Ole Wine Drinker Me-Merle Haggard
The Weight- The Band
Ooh La La- The Faces
Against the Wind-Bob Seger
I’m not your Boyfriend-TSCO
Lay Lady Lay-Bob Dylan
And It Stoned Me- Van Morrison
Some Guys Have All the Luck-Rod Stewart
Here Comes a Regular- The Replacements
You Ain’t Going Nowhere-Bob Dylan
Family Tradition- Hank Williams Jr.
"Into the Mystic" is one that a ton of people play and Van gets flack for becoming the background music to many a yuppie's suburban dream, but the Celtic magician hits a deep place in my soul and this song always sounds right...especially near water.
"Bartender's Blues" in set 2 is amazing if for no other reason than the fact that James Taylor wrote it and George Jones made it famous. It is a perfectly written song and feels best when played at a small bar where all the bartenders can hear it and sympathize. Having had many a job in the service industry, it is the ultimate empathetic comfort and inspiration to move on at the same time.
"Here Comes A Regular"
If somebody asks you to come play covers at their bar, you just gotta throw this one in there. The small twists in the lyrics are incredible: "Everybody wants to be someone here / Everybody wants to be someone's here"
Paul Westerberg is hands down one of the greatest American songwriters that ever lived and I think an incredibly under-rated singer as well. You know he's been every where and every person and every line he sings about. It's real. Too damn real at times, but oh so good.