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Filbert

Acoustic Pub Favourites - Suggestions please!

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I play at a local acoustic guitar 'club' every Wednesday - I say 'club' because it is really just an excuse for a bunch of people to get together and have a drink and a chat but we do play songs, well, at least, I do. I try and learn 2/3 new songs every week and play them - I now have a box file about 3 inches thick of printed song sheets that I have played every week for the last year and a half. Now, the problem is I am by far the youngest person there by about 30 years or so and if I try and play 'new' songs, say anything written within the last 40 years or so, I am usually met with blank stares. The whole point of the club is for the novice guitarists to join in but obviously they can't do that easily with tunes they don't know so I try my damnedest to learn and sing songs they might know - but I am running out of ideas. If I don't play songs, the others usually fall back on the same 5 tunes that they play every week, without fail. It is a touch repetitive as you can imagine.

So please can you list some good go-to, easy(ish) to play acoustic songs that work well at an informal pub setting. No Beatles please (I can't stand them, sorry!) but anything else goes as long as it is popular and relatively well-known. Chances are, I may well have played it before but the more suggestions the merrier.

Edited by Filbert
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Norwegian Wood - Beatles

Dakota – Stereophonics

Eye of the Tiger – Survivor

Proud Mary - CCR

Those are a good place to start, the Stereophonics song may be a little on the newer side for what you want but it's a good song, give it a try, your people might like it. It's not that they don't like newer songs, it's just that they don't know them (yet).

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5 minutes ago, billroy said:

What are the 5 or so songs they gravitate towards...  to understand what they like?

There are a couple of blokes who play the penny whistle (badly) and the ukulele respectively. Their songs are 'Dirty Old Town', 'Black Velvet Band', 'Wild Rover' and 'I'm A Believer'.

It all started off as a folk club nominally but no-one really plays 'folk' music - I learned a bunch of Steeleye Span songs to help ease in and that did the trick, they knew those ones.

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have you already tried some older John Mellencamp,  Small Town/Pink Houses.  Those are well known, and quite easy to play.

hard to go wrong with James Taylor's stuff.  Fire And Rain, Close Your Eyes..

CCR stuff,  Have You Ever Seen The Rain, Lodi...

 

 

 

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Don't know John Mellancamp very well so will look that up.

I've done Fire & Rain, that went quite well same with CCR Green River and Have You Ever Seen The Rain.

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10 minutes ago, Filbert said:

Don't know John Mellancamp very well so will look that up.

John Cougar?  Same guy! 🙂

Edited by kidblast

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2 minutes ago, kidblast said:

John Cougar?  Same guy! 🙂

Yeah, I have heard of the name and it rings a bell but I am not familiar with any of his stuff.

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16 minutes ago, Filbert said:

Yeah, I have heard of the name and it rings a bell but I am not familiar with any of his stuff.

ah,  I see.  I would just go for his earlier music,  as time went on, he got "Weird"

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The point is I can't play anything more modern than let's say 1980 without being met with indifference. They don't want join in, engage or even attempt to play along because they don't know the songs and don't really care. So short of sitting there listening to the same tired old folk songs I have been listening to every week for the last 18 months, I am and have been trying to play stuff they *do* know. Sadly, I am coming to the limits of popular songs from the 50's to the late 70's that I know, hence why I am soliciting any suggestions. Unfortunately, I only have a limited amount of time to devote to learning new stuff in between everything else that I need to do so obscure stuff won't really work - it'll take me too long to learn the melody off Youtube and the word cadences etc.

I've done California Dreamin' and I don't know any other Mamas and Papas stuff, sorry.

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Seems obvious, but two we've been really working on lately.

Singer guy puts on acoustic for at least a set, I stay with strat/tele and just do everything from atmospheric to full on shred in between carrying the harmonic content while he pretty much strums really well and sings even better.

Wild Hawsez and Into The Mystic.  Both are good tests of singing and dynamics, and they'll make the old fruits and the crowd happy.  I'm guessing most have heard of these in your area, and you might already romp through them.

I'll thinka some more.

rct

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Harvest Moon and Helpless by that one guy from Canuckistan.  Both good singing exercises and make the Weird Tunings guys happy.

rct

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All I Want To Be, Wind Of Change, Lines On My Face, and for the instrumental folkies, Penny For Your Thoughts, by that Framptoon fella.  

rct

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Dead Flowers by The Rolling Stones is always a good one.  D, A, G, chords in varying orders. If someone plays lead there's room for all kinds of cool fills in between the verses. 

Another one that's very popular these days is Wagon Wheel. We used to play that song over 10 years ago when it was an obscure Old Crow Medicine Show song. Then Darius Rucker recorded a version and now it's become required playing for everyone. Just like Brown Eyed Girl and Margaritville. 

 

Edited by saturn

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I like playing America songs. Great acoustic songs and very popular with the paying customers. 
And most importantly, every song is straight open major chords. Tin man is probably my favorite America song,

Edited by Navy Vet.

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if they are really lost in the 70s,  whip up an acoustic version of ELPs "From The Beginning"

nice little intro that lets em know what's coming, and not a very hard tune to play if you just stick with the basics.

There's also Danny's Song by Kenny Logins.  any one that's been on the planet for any time at all  has heard that one.

Edited by kidblast

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6 hours ago, kidblast said:

John Cougar?  Same guy! 🙂

Kidblast, Filbert is in the U.K and John Mellancamp/ Cougar has only ever had one hit here, Jack and Diane and that was a long time ago. 

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Everybody misses somebody so, you know, Wish You Were Here.  Always goes over well, good singalong sometimes, good place for acoustic mavens to stretch out and try to cop some licks down by the nut.

rct

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Lola.   Always goes over when we do it, great for somewhat sloshed up sing along.

rct

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Get the acoustic mavens to play up high, do Maggie May.  The audience will thank ya.

rct

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25 minutes ago, IanHenry said:

Kidblast, Filbert is in the U.K and John Mellancamp/ Cougar has only ever had one hit here, Jack and Diane and that was a long time ago. 

oh!  I wondered about that..  Well then those others wont work either  his earlier stuff is well known in the US.

He just went off the rails after his second or third album and never got back on IMHO.

 

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