Jump to content

Who plays polka?


Recommended Posts

  • Members

I live in a remarkably segregated city--even the white people are split up according to country of origin.  Weirdly, the people who trace back to Western Europe are on the east side of the city, and the Eastern Europeans are on the West side.  I just moved from the east side from the west side, and a lot of the venues we're playing out here are packed with Polish people who want to polka.  We are a roots-type band, and they love the country music we play, but a couple of polkas in our back pocket would kill.  We managed to pull off "Roll Out The Barrel", last night, but that seemed a little pandering.  I'm not looking for deep cuts, but getting a list of 4-5 popular but not stereotypical polka tunes.  Any suggestions?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

yes, my blues/rock/folk/reggae-ish band usually throws in a conglomeration of short polka songs. Very varied from night to night but it usually contains parts of ROLL OUT THE BARREL, a lyrically enhanced IN HEAVEN THERE IS NO BEER, and SHE'S TOO FAT FOR ME. A 6-7 minute poka in the middle of our other songs usually fills the floor.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

Ya gotta have someone play the accordion, but this works for rock bands;

 

 

 

Don't laugh, she won a grammy.

 

Beer Barrel Polka, The Chicken Dance Song, Too Fat Polka, and Ta Ra Ra Boom De Ay are musts. IF you are gonna play some, play the hits. 

 

I played a few gigs with one many, many, many moons ago. Full regalia...liederhosen, white sox, bass drum etc., and really, really, really good money.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

There are thousands of great polka tunes out there and the best part is that there are only a few basic patterns, so once you know one polka you know 200 more with different lyrics.

 

In addition, you can make almost any 4/4 rock or country song into a polka by having the drummer play what I call the "boom-chick" beat. In the polka band I play with during OktoberFest season here in Southern California I do "German-ized" versions of Tush, Sweet Home Alabama, I Feel Good, and Play that Funky Music. Basically, I change a few lyrics and sing with a German accent to the polka beat. Next week we're performing at the Antelope Valley Fair in Lancaster on the same night that George Thorogood is performing on the main stage, so I'm sure to do a polka version of "Bad to the Bone". The audience always gets the joke and has a lot of fun with it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

 


Chicken Monkey wrote:

 

 

I live in a remarkably segregated city--even the white people are split up according to country of origin.  Weirdly, the people who trace back to Western Europe are on the east side of the city, and the Eastern Europeans are on the West side.  I just moved from the east side from the west side, and a lot of the venues we're playing out here are packed with Polish people who want to polka.  We are a roots-type band, and they love the country music we play, but a couple of polkas in our back pocket would kill.  We managed to pull off "Roll Out The Barrel", last night, but that seemed a little pandering.  I'm not looking for deep cuts, but getting a list of 4-5 popular but not stereotypical polka tunes.  Any suggestions?

 

 

We were thowing polka in to rock gigs way back in 1969 and 70 with my soul/jazz rock/ soft 60s top 40 band.  Basically the same demo you are running into.   We worked the south bend, mishawaka, elkhart Indiana area.    They ate that stuff up.   we has about a half a set of polka, tuajuana brass and  a couple old up tempo country songs.   roll out the barrel and she's to fat for me.  seem to be the real low hangin fruit when it comes to polkas.    I say go for it.   I would guess that your show is off the hook enough to be able to do a polka or three and make if fly.   If they are having fun , you guys are scoring points.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

did someone say accordionist? These guys do a ton of stuff that has its roots in polka music. They tour nationally so if you get a chance to catch one of their shows go,, Its a fun time.

 

Then there are these guys who are still going. 

   I guess the point i am trying to make is ,, grab on to some of this stuff even though without an accordian its like a fish out of water.    Your band is creative enough with the chops to pull it off.   Michigan has a pretty good sized latino population on the west side of the state.   They will love you just for givin it a go.  
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...