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Not to be confused with Tribute act.

A cover band (or covers band), is a band that plays mostly or exclusively cover songs. New or unknown bands often find the format marketable for smaller venues, such as pubs, clubs or parks. The bands also perform at private events, for example, weddings and birthday parties and may be known as a wedding band, party band or function band. A band whose covers consist mainly of songs that were chart hits is often called a top 40 band. Some bands, however, start as cover bands and then grow to perform original material. For example, The Rolling Stones released three albums consisting primarily of covers before recording one of their original material.

Cover bands play several types of venues. When a band is starting out, might play private parties and fund raisers, often for little or no money, or in return for food and bar privileges, although many professional musicians refuse to do this. With enough experience a band will begin to "play out" professionally at bars and night clubs. Some cover bands are made up of full-time professional musicians. These bands are usually represented by an 'entertainment agency'.

Unlike some famous bands, when the cover bands consist of professional musicians they often do not have a 'fixed line up' of musicians, rather they are often made up of a flexible line up[1] with session musicians, utilising "dep" (deputy, that is, stand-in) musicians where necessary. The music industry is considered by many musicians as a relatively difficult industry to make an income in,[2] and cover bands can be a good source of income for professional musicians alongside other work.


Cover bands play songs written and recorded by other artists, usually well-known songs (as compared to "original" bands which play music they themselves have written). There are a wide variety of cover bands - some cover bands play material from particular decades, for example a 1980s cover band. Others focus exclusively on the music of a particular group, usually iconic groups, and are called tribute bands. It is not uncommon to find tribute bands performing the songs of The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Kiss, Pink Floyd, Oasis, Duran Duran, Aerosmith, or U2. Some cover bands will play a variety of song styles, of widely different artists, genres and decades. Another type of cover band is one that covers songs in a different genre or style than that of the original composition (e.g., jazz versions of what were originally hard rock songs).

Some cover bands perform covers that are of a different musical genre from the originals. For instance:

Passin Thru, a band from the Pittsburgh PA area plays classic rock and modern hits. It's members are Julie Kohar, Kevin McRoberts, Tim Domico, Marty Hutchison and Bill Benson.

Examples of cover acts[edit]

Fictional cover acts[edit]

  • Rock Star starring Mark Wahlberg who had a small group that performs cover songs from a fictional band called Steel Dragon. He eventually became the lead singer of the said band when a recorded performance was seen by the band members.
  • The Wedding Singer features Adam Sandler as a cover singer who performs for wedding parties.
  • Detroit Rock City is the story of four teenagers in the '70s who are in a Kiss cover band called "Mystery."
  • Saving Silverman features three friends who are diehard Neil Diamond fans, and they form a cover band called "Diamonds in the Rough."
  • In an episode of The Simpsons, Otto Mann hires a cover band called "Cyanide," which he says is a tribute to Poison.
  • In the American Dad! episode "Finances with Wolves," Klaus the goldfish swaps brains with the lead singer of an Earth, Wind and Fire cover band.

See also[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cover_band — Please support Wikipedia.
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4808 news items

Scranton Times-Tribune

Scranton Times-Tribune
Mon, 28 Jul 2014 01:15:00 -0700

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES-TRIBUNE The eight-piece ensemble Into the Spin brings the dance floor to life with its covers of the best pop, rock and soul from every generation. Members are, from left, Kevin Haile, keyboards; Mike Harvey, guitar; Andy Seal ...

Wall Street Journal

Wall Street Journal
Wed, 16 Jul 2014 19:30:24 -0700

Shredding with the oldies: Cover-band musicians like Steve Brown must branch out to pay the bills. Photo: DeWolf Photography. OAKLAND, N.J.—Rock 'n' roll is here to stay, Danny & the Juniors sang more than half a century ago. Rockers on the bar-band ...
Wed, 23 Jul 2014 12:30:00 -0700

The Ziggy Christie Band returns to Bayonne this weekend to play your favorite classic rock 'n' roll hits. The cover band's gig, "Hot Time, Summer in the City," will kick off at 9 p.m. this Saturday at Massa's Bar, at 563 Ave. A. The band will play some ...
Sat, 26 Jul 2014 10:05:15 -0700

Dirty Muggs. More info dirtymuggs.com. Cover bands don't always have the best reputations (despite often getting the most work and bigger paychecks). But when a cover band has the goods, there's no denying it. R&B/funk outfit Dirty Muggs has the goods ...

Anchorage Daily News

Anchorage Daily News
Thu, 10 Jul 2014 22:03:45 -0700

Professional Beatles cover band BritBeat will perform Friday and Saturday in Anchorage. Loren Holmes / Alaska Dispatch News. On June 28, 1966, John, Paul, George and Ringo spent the night in Anchorage. They did not perform. This weekend, Eli, Chris, ...
Huffington Post
Fri, 18 Jul 2014 12:31:05 -0700

Because everyone's older in cover bands, you're dealing with even more reasons for players to want/need to quit the band; job stress, jealous/abandoned wives, babies on the way, etc., etc., Not to mention, in a cover band, you're constantly dealing ...
Fri, 11 Jul 2014 06:41:15 -0700

Now that Fred Armisen is in Portland working on the next season of Portlandia, Seth Meyers and Late Night figured out a way to keep him on the show in New York by premiering their new segment "FredEx," in which they send Armisen a FedEx package with ...
Thu, 03 Jul 2014 18:09:25 -0700

It's debatable on what is more difficult — writing a pocketful of original songs and then performing them for an audience that has never heard them, or being in a cover band and performing someone else's music and being compared to the original artists.

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