Thursday, August 19, 2004

Making the Band

Different advanced artists assemble their bands in different ways, but there is a classic lineup: a fancy drummer (like Steve Gadd), a saxophonist or full horn section, a hotshot nobody on guitar, someone "of color" or a woman on bass, and a group of professional backup singers, usually African-American (think "Take a Walk on the Wild Side"). Sometimes an entire gospel choir is necessary. It is also good to have an extra percussionist who seems to have almost no function onstage at all. Usually there is also a nondescript guy on keyboards to round everything out. The main thing is to have as many people on the stage as possible. Sometimes all these people create a sound that would seem to require only a quartet, but the most advanced choice is to use a band like this to reinterpret songs that were spare when originally written.

The flipside would be to do songs that you performed in a band by yourself with just a guitar. Sting loves to do this, but I'm just not sure if Sting is advanced or just terrible.

1 comment:

CW said...

From your definition of the advanced band...consider Jimmy Buffett's Coral Reefer Band (which included only imaginary sidemen for one tour), Squeeze during the "tempted" days, and James Brown when he added a "trained opera" vocalist and Jonny Lang to his touring band.