The overriding theme of the music I like--and how I play it--is fun. It's the only reason I play, and I figure if I'm having fun, just maybe the crowd will as well...
I grew up in Doylestown, PA, raised on AM radio, Philly's WFIL 'Famous 56', to be exact. As a kid I would listen to my favorite songs incessantly, the pop music of the late 60's and early 70's, with a transistor radio to my ear or my head in between the detachable speakers of our portable record player--the kind where the turntable folded up and the whole thing became sort of a suitcase.
Luckily, I was blessed with a knack for remembering the words to songs, a trait that would pay off much later when I finally got around to learning to play guitar, which didn't happen until I was out of college and I sat down on my parents' porch with an 'Easy Guitar' book. (I think it was something like "Super Hits of the 70's"...) For the most part, I didn't need to learn the lyrics. They were in my head already!
Like most everybody, the songs I love are those I grew up listening to and singing (or whistling) along with. Of course, the Beatles loom large in my list of favorites, but so many others as well. Van Morrison, Creedence, the Kinks, Simon & Garfunkel. Then Paul Simon, Springsteen, Neil Young, Elvis Costello, and so on.
But beyond those familiar names, I really love the obscure 'one hit wonders,' which explains why you'll find me playing quite a few songs by artists nobody rememebers today. I especially those tunes you don't hear everyday, the ones that make you stop and listen. Songs like "Indiana Wants Me," "Here Comes My Baby," "Eve of Destruction," or "Take a Letter Maria," to name a few of my faves.
Hope to see you at a gig soon!