The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #121329 Message #2650724
Posted By: Don Firth
07-Jun-09 - 03:18 PM
Thread Name: To introduce songs, or not, and how?
Subject: RE: To introduce songs, or not, and how?
When I was the most "wall-to-wall" active, back in the late 1950s and into the 1960s, I was doing two or three nights a week in one coffeehouse or another. Fortunately, these places paid, so I was making a halfway decent living at it. I had a working repertoire of maybe 200 songs. I usually sang four or five sets a night, generally eight or ten songs each. I tried not to repeat until I'd sung through the whole list, which didn't take all that many nights at that rate. And, blessings be, there was a lot of repeat business; the same people kept coming, so a) I must have been doing something right, and b) if I was going to keep them coming back, I couldn't afford to let myself get boring.
So—I would figure out my sets ahead of time, early in the week, and make sure to shuffle the order a bit and decide what, if anything, I would say about each song. So when someone heard me sing a song they'd heard me do before, it was in a whole new context. AND none of these pre-planned sets was locked in stone. I might make a few last minute switches, depending on circumstances.
Forethought. No matter how busy you are, don't let yourself fall into a rut.