In the world of cover band singers, you won’t find any better than Darryl Walker, singer, saxophone player extraordinaire from San Diego. He specializes in R&B, Pop, Blues, and Jazz, and his work is stunning!
You can hear it for yourself on his two new singles – Need You In My Life, and a rendition of You Send Me, by Hiram Bullock featuring Al Jarreau. The two were performed by my live band at the Laguna Festival of The Arts and are scheduled to be released by UK’s Polyphemus Records.
Darryl has lit up countless recording sessions with his lead and background vocals. He’s worked with such labels as Tabu, A&M, Motown, Mesa Blue Moon Records, Northern Blues, and Ripa Records. Be sure to catch his latest project, Darryl F. Walker “Sings Al Jarreau,” it’s incredible.
I enjoyed chatting with him about our mutual philosophies on professionalism in an interview featured on Episode 17 of the Pandemic-Proof Singer Series. There were a million priceless takeaways from our discussion about the challenges that cover band singers face:
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Networking and being considerate – avoid the scarcity mentality.
- There’s enough work to go around for everyone. Recommend other people and help the community grow. Return the favor when someone recommends you for a gig.
- Network with other singers in your genre. Knowing lots of people helps you build relationships that can become springboards for other projects as well. It’s also essential to have a great backup in case you need one.
- Step back and support others when there’s a need.
Quality of performances – the pay-off from the project correlates to the work you’ve put into it.
- Don’t underestimate the amount of work that goes into a quality project. It requires a ton of rehearsals, lugging gear, and administrative work.
- If you have a replacement, vet them to be sure you can trust them.
- Make sure the quality level of the performance pays homage to the songs you’re covering, and do it with integrity.
“Don’t let the music sound like some guy who’s up there imposing his own personality on somebody else’s stuff to the point where it’s not recognizable. Represent the material as accurately as possible so that it gets a good reception.” – Darryl Walker
- If you’re going to cover somebody and steer away from what the original artist did, you really need to be doing something special and different from the song.
- Make sure everyone in the band is as excited as you are about the project. This will naturally motivate them to do their best and enjoy the project.
- It takes a collective effort for a gig to be successful.
Professionalism – every show is an opportunity, treat it as such.
- Show professionalism. Before you get the big gigs, you need to prove your reliability.
- Don’t turn up for shows unprepared and don’t party all night before a gig.
- Dress appropriately.
- Be committed and know your strengths and weaknesses.
- Be mindful of people’s time and treat everyone with respect.
- Don’t be a stage hog.
Your Next Step
If you know you’ve got what it takes but don’t know where to start, I’d love to help. In my vocal coaching practice, we work on both your strategy and your craft. Contact me here to work with me.
We’re living through an experience like non-other before. Don’t let it stop you. Begin by pandemic-proofing your singing career with self-reliance, resiliency, and a strong spirit. It’ll take hard work and a bit of smart innovation. Set yourself up for success. Wouldn’t it be a shame to finally get a gig only never to get called back and be left wondering why? Try my new digital course, I’m With the Band: Do’s and Dont’s from a Lead Singer. Learn the professional and social habits that lead to a long, fruitful, and well-respected singing career.
Your opportunity is coming. Be ready for it. Pandemic-proof your singing career.
For more Pandemic-Proof Singer Series, click here.
Hi! I’m Danielle Tucker – singer, vocal coach, and lead vocalist of The Mighty Untouchables band.
Throughout my 20-year career, I’ve equally enjoyed singing country, rock, pop, gospel, and jazz. Today, I’m a professional singer/songwriter available for solo performances, studio recording, and lead vocalist of San Diego-based band The Mighty Untouchables. I also offer vocal coaching to both solo artists and groups through my own studio. I’ve crafted a rewarding vocal career, and it’s my great pleasure to bring music to others through private bookings, performing with my band, or helping others to grow more confident in their own vocal gifts. Thanks for visiting my site I’m honored that you’d like to get to know me!