As the live-music scene continues its death-spiral, a new trend has developed in the wedding band market: Since most bands no longer have any live gigs to showcase themselves to potential clients, many wedding bands have resorted to producing expensive, polished videos in which they “lip-synch” to pre-recorded audio. Instead of showing what a band really sounds (and for that matter looks) like in a live setting, these videos show the bands in an artificially-favorable light, dressed to the nines and smiling for the camera while they pretend to “perform” a selection of their best tunes. If the product they’re selling was a CD or some other form of recorded music, that would be fine. However, in hiring a band for a reception or corporate function, what a band sounds like live is what matters most.
The Swinging Johnsons/ Johnson Brothers Band urges all potential clients to ask for and check out actual live recordings of any band they’re considering hiring. You might shocked what these bands really sound like live….
To that end, we humbly offer these live recordings for your consideration.
This is a board tape completely live with no overdubs (it’s barely even mixed). There are some brutal moments, but we trust everyone will appreciate it for what it is — a snapshot of us playing on an average Friday night. Keep that in mind when comparing this to other bands’ polished, overdubbed studio recordings. Hope you enjoy it.
These are taken from two continuous sets, cut up into smaller files for ease of listening. In our sets we often transition seamlessly from one song to the next without stopping, so some of the cuts on these tracks are choppy. Some tracks include 2 or 3 songs because they blend together so much.
- Take Me Home Tonight, Eddie Money // Sweet Home Alabama, Lynyrd Skynyrd
- Africa, Toto
- I Want You Back, Jackson 5
- Call Me Al, Paul Simon // September, Earth, Wind & Fire // You Shook Me, AC/DC
- The Joker, Steve Miller
- Sly and the Family Stone Medley: Everyday People // Dance to the Music // (Want to Take You) Higher
- Pour Some Sugar on Me, Def Leppard // Stuck in the Middle With You, Steeler’s Wheel
- Sweet Child O’ Mine, Guns & Roses // Livin’ On A Prayer, Bon Jovi // (I Don’t Want to Lose) Your Love, Outfield
- Land Down Under, Men at Work
- Love The One You’re With, Stephen Stills // Black Betty, Ram Jam
- Jesse’s Girl, Rick Springfield
- Walk This Way, Aerosmith
- More Than Words, Extreme
These songs were recorded live to two-track in one afternoon. There are no overdubs or retaped parts.
- What a Wonderful World, Louis Armstrong
- Autumn Leaves // Fly Me to the Moon, Frank Sinatra
- It Had to be You, Harry Connick Jr.
- Let’s Stay Together, Al Green
- Me and Julio, Paul Simon
- Call Me Al, Paul Simon
Wedding Showcase Video
Below is a video from a recent wedding showcase we played at King’s in Oct 2012. We wanted to see if we could squeeze 16 songs into 20 minutes. The result is a bit manic, but covers a bunch of songs that people always seem to request. More notably, it also showcases our ability to segue between songs; when the dance floor is filled, you don’t want a band that stops between every song, as the dance floor will begin to empty. We didn’t rehearse this set; everyone simply received a set list before we went on and we ran them down. The five band members on stage here have literally done over 500 weddings together over the last 12 years, so we can do things the average wedding band can only dream of.
Below are a couple of videos from a wedding we played in September 2012. You can see a dozen other videos from this event on YouTube’s Swinging Johnsons channel.