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Forum: General Discussion

Topic: Help? Filling in for a guy with Captain Trips
I haven't done a bar DJ gig in nearly 10 years.

I've agreed to cover this as a friendly gesture (my business does game shows with them). I used to spin at bars and night clubs up until the mid-90s when my business model changed. At this point, I rarely even do weddings and turn down work if the b&g are under 35 years old.

Rural bar in a small town in the mid-atlantic region of the U.S.
The bar is one of the only two in reasonable distance from the population center, so it's doing pretty well. Since Covid, the average age of guests has dropped to 21-30.

Owner's advice:
Country music from 9:30pm until the older patrons leave, then "hip-hop"
They listen to the country and dance later.

My experience with rural bars, albeit dated, is that they are 2 to 10 years behind major metro areas.
I can do a pretty amazing 70's to 90's mix and have the knowledge, chops, and library to remain in whatever decade rocks their boats for hours. Things just get sketchy after 2000.
Unfortunately, country music ain't my bag. I had a POOL membership for the last 7 years which I ended when Covid shut down life last year, so I probably already own any music I would need to cover that period of time, I just don't know what's good and what's not. It amazes me when I answer requests at wedding receptions and a song I never heard before makes girls scream and packs the floor. (I should probably keep better notes.)

If you work a similar bar situation and would be willing to share a playlist, I'd be in your debt.
If anyone could list a few floor-packers that fall outside my knowledge, I'd appreciate any help I can get. This gig doesn't pay enough for me to comb over 10 years of Billboard charts, but if I have to I will.

The gig is next Saturday, Feb 27, 9:30 to "1 or 2"

Thanks in advance.

Posted Thu 18 Feb 21 @ 4:49 pm
look on youtube for Upbeat country. Last 5 years. Look up top 40 country for last few years, nothing slow and twangy, the new country is the old top 40 sound from the 2000's. Stick with 2000's top 40 but play a few #1's from this and last year. 2000's hip hop will carry you through if you dont play 3 back to back

Posted Thu 18 Feb 21 @ 10:36 pm
Thank you for helping.

I went to the bar following a private gig I did last night. I arrived at 10pm and Hip Hop was playing, a song I didn't really recognize. But the DJ, who looked every bit as old as me, then played 24K Magic. I was very happy to see that this song, which I am very familiar with, got a very positive response from the mostly under 30 crowd. The crowd responded best and sang along to songs I have never heard, mostly hip hop. Not to say they danced, but the squealed, reacted, sang, and bumped uglies with nearby friends for ten seconds.

He only got on the mic twice during my 90 minutes observing, once to say he was taking requests and once to shame a requester to the dance floor.

It is my inclination to get the crowd actively involved with the evening rather than passively listening, talking and drinking. But, if this DJ (sic) is what they expect, I may wish to follow suit and clam it. Thoughts?

The venue does not clear tables form the dance floor (Covid) , but occasionally, people danced in the aisles. Nobody was masked other than staff. Hoooo boy.

He seemed to play typical wedding reception fare about 25% of the time, the rest mixed between country, hip hop, and some rock. He played AC/DC, Thunderstruck, not long after asking for requests. I would say almost any other known AC/DC song would have been a better bet as this song takes FOREVER to get going and was a bit of a mood-kill to the audience.

In the end, I've done 3 hours of research, overloaded a playlist with potential plays (8 hours worth for the 4 hour gig), and feel more comfortable that I can hit 'em with some typical popular stuff as I mix in other tunes based on BPM and genre.

In the end... it's more evidence that, for me, in most cases I should leave younger people to such gigs.

There's 2 signs you're old...
1) It's too loud
2) "today's music sucks"


Posted Mon 22 Feb 21 @ 1:55 am
I've been asked to give playlists before and I always have to preface things with a warning: EVERY gig is gonna be different - venue, location, demographics = different regional tastes in music and even varying definitions of what a genre of music is.
a play history of a typical week of being open here in Texas is so NOT going to work in other parts of the country, or even in other parts of Texas.
1 - we keep linedanceing to a minimum and focus on couples dancing. this translates to insane alcohol sales and repeat business AND club longevity - we've been running since 1998
2 - we don't have playlists. we DO have a format with the non-county scheduled at certain times of the night - anyone expecting the typical 45/15 is going to be disappointed or shocked. and when we DO play the non-country we try to give them the most bang for their buck without chasing off the core demographic. and the dj is expected to read the crowd and play accordingly no matter what time of night or what type of music is playing.
3 - we never stick to 'modern' country or even any one sub-set of it (Texas country/Red Dirt country is still huge and those acts are pushing more and more into the national scene still) and never EVER play 'hick-hop' or 'country rap'. any night will have songs sprinkled through from almost every decade from late 70's through today, but 90's country is HUGE with the 30 somethings -those 90's kids are out for a night without the kids or the divorced soccer moms getting their cougar on want to have fun too.

if ya really really want some of those play histories I can dig a few out from recent times - but looks like you're already ahead of the game doing your research on the place. just one thing - talk to the dj there that's been there the longest and knows the manager's idiosyncrasies and can guide you on how to deal with him/her. a manager throwing their two cents in when the new guy is playing is usually a sure way to disaster.

Posted Mon 22 Feb 21 @ 3:55 pm
I really appreciate the reply, Texas.

I also called a friend of mine who stays current on music and trends despite being 50-something. He is single, looks younger, and was a b-boy, back in the day.

He still does High School Proms, successfully!, which I swore off 15 years ago.

His advice is the same I would have given a green DJ,... do YOU.

"Just do YOUR gig, the way your mind and soul tells you to do it and don't worry about anything else."

He knows I am in the rare breed of DJ who cares about everything from venue profits to mass appreciation. I am a fount of musical knowledge and I bleed a solid 5/4 signature.

'Nuff said. I'm going in there in a few days and I'm going to be me. Like I told the owner, if I'm not the guy for the spot, we'll know after Saturday.

These kids are in for a shock.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not gonna go in there and pretend the last 20 years didn't happen, nor will I ignore country and hip hop music. BUT I will go with my gut and not obsess over what they expect.

I may report my playlist afterward for anyone interested in how things went.

We used to have chats like this in DJChat. I miss it.

Posted Tue 23 Feb 21 @ 11:38 pm