#1
So I'm an upcoming southern rock/texas country artist (you can check out my thread in the promoting forum or visit www.myspace.com/russellmeltonmusic to get an idea of the sound I have.. I hope this isn't a form of spam!) and I have some issues as to how to approach my act in order to gain recognition.
Now alot of guys in my genres are cover/bar bands with like a 3 hour setlist of covers, but the successful guys play an hour or so set of their own songs. I'm not looking to make a living doing cover songs, but it seems that would be the more simple route to take to get exposure.
Basically my question is how effective would it be to get an hour to hour and a half set of originals with a cover or few thrown in and attempt to get opening gigs for bigger acts in the area, and try to push my music on the radio as in independent, rather than a cover act to gain recognition, and how would I go about doing that?
Thanks for any advice anyone has!
-Russell Melton
I step up to da mic. Bust a rhyme about my hoes, tippin' on fo' fo's.. and someone shoots me in the face. Because rap is stupid.

Quote by Laces Out Danny
YOU ARE the PIT!!!
#2
Go original. Your goals seem to be in line with that, though you haven't stated your goals explicitly.

Skip the covers. Get 10 originals. Don't bother with 15 until later. Be honest with yourself. Coming up with 10 good originals is a trick. Don't water things down so you go out with half a dozen good songs and nine snoozers. You'll be remembered as a band that was mostly pretty crappy except for a couple of good songs.

In doing that, recognize that you will be cutting yourself off from the best paying gigs, and off from a lot of venues. That's okay, those are the venues that hire cover bands. Their patrons don't want to hear original music anyways. The upside is that you'll be playing places where the audience (small, though it may well be, but putting some real hustle on can get people out) will not only tolerate, but expect to hear your original songs.

By being all original, we have had opportunities that we would never have gotten as a cover band:
-main stage appearances at large outdoor festivals
-appearances at really nice venues like a concert theatre.
-campus and commercial radio exposure
-independent and commercial print media exposure
-community and network TV exposure

On top of that (or within that, more to the point), we have the self-satisfaction of having released a full-length CD of our own material that has actually made money for the band, and I've received (albeit a small one) a royalty cheque from SOCAN, Canada's version of ASCAP/BMI for music I have written appearing on the radio and in television spots.

None of that could happen, really, if I was doing covers.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#3
I agree with chris ^ in general but I'd put in just one, completely re-worked, well known cover, just as a guaranteed crowd pleaser.
Even the most famous bands in the world do that.
#4
Yeah, one or two well-chosen covers can serve that purpose well. We've fiddled with the odd one from time to time.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.