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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:

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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Fri, 29 Aug 2014 10:37:30 -0700

The Athens, GA based JGBCB Jerry Garcia Band Cover Band have recently announced a fall tour. Ever since the group played their first show outside of Athens, just over a year ago, the band has performed over 75 shows in a dozen states.

CBS News

CBS News
Fri, 15 Aug 2014 09:18:45 -0700

They are the band in demand by other bands. Walk Off The Earth's low budget, homemade videos have been seen more than 400 million times, which could make them the most famous cover band in the Internet age, CBS News' Ben Tracy reports. Their rise ...

Consequence of Sound

Consequence of Sound
Mon, 25 Aug 2014 11:01:04 -0700

It turns out Jason Michael Hurley, the man who told police that he was Scott Weiland upon being arrested for possession of methamphetamine and burglary, actually impersonates the Stone Temple Pilots frontman for a living. A posting on Hurley's Facebook ...
Wed, 27 Aug 2014 12:29:57 -0700

New Caney's The Chris Coursey Band is scheduled to perform at 9 p.m. on Aug. 30 at Mak's Place. Admission is free. Band leader Coursey is an outlaw country and southern rock fan and the band performs cover songs and original material. They have ...
Fri, 08 Aug 2014 13:18:48 -0700

Ever notice how you rarely see a cover band perform a song by Queen? That's because they're so difficult to pull off. Many Queen compositions — driven by Brian May's pristine guitar sound and the late Freddie Mercury's beautiful, soaring vocals that ...
Washington Post
Thu, 14 Aug 2014 03:52:13 -0700

If the members of Arcade Fire ever wanted to give up the whole rock star thing, they could make it as an anonymous cover band. At nearly every stop on its “Reflektor” world tour, the band has been performing an array of geographically appropriate cover ...
Chicago Daily Herald
Tue, 05 Aug 2014 17:45:00 -0700

In a dream-come-true scenario similar to the movie "Rock Star," suburban classic rock cover band singer Ronnie Platt, of Lombard, has been tapped to be the new lead singer of the legendary band Kansas. He'll replace Steve Walsh, the voice behind the ...
Thu, 28 Aug 2014 11:18:42 -0700

These local musicians have made a name for themselves and their popularity is a well-known fact in these parts of rural Ontario. Folks will be able to hear them perform on stage at the Warkworth Fair. "We do country covers, everything from rock and ...

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