Songs have many themes, messages and underlying topics, and guitar players are spoiled for choice when picking something to play.
It might be you want to play something easy, a three-chord punk song with no strong political message other than anarchy. There might be a passion for learning to play a love song, to sing to a partner or intended partner. A guitar player might pick a song they like, not bothered about the message they get across.
There might be guitar players who want to play a song around their poker hobby. In recent years, when you think of songs about poker, you probably think of Lady Gaga’s song Poker Face, which is a popular poker term for not giving anything away. Other songs have leaned on poker terms, such as Moonshine Bandits, Dead Man’s Hand. Often, these songs have many beats and layers, which makes covering them tough, but you can strip everything back. Instead of going all-in on production, some poker songs have been covered by acoustic artists, which might inspire owners of an acoustic guitars to try the same.
We’ve spent far too much time on YouTube listening to the stripped-back melodies of an acoustic guitar to find these three gems for you; a three-of-a-kind set of popular poker songs covered by acoustic artists.
Lady Gaga – Poker Face
Poker Face uses poker terminology, as we explored in the intro, but it can be stripped back to a simple guitar and microphone for an entirely different experience. This version, by former American Idol contestant Chris Daughtry, puts an entirely different spin on the pop song – Daughtry’s vocals do take the song up and down like a round of poker, from mellow to the frantic chorus. It’s a great example of repurposing a pop song on guitar for a wholly different experience, a bit like an acoustic Me First and the Gimme Gimmes.
Kenny Rogers – The Gambler
Ask anyone to name a song about poker, and we dare go all-in that the most popular response will be Kenny Rogers, The Gambler. The song launched Rogers into the mainstream, a three-minute poker metaphor for life that feels as relevant today as it ever did. It also sounds fresh when rolling off the fretboard of Mark Willis, as recorded in 2016. A second guitar backs him, but all that proves is that a pair of poker fans can pay homage to the poker song of choice.
The Clash – The Card Cheat
Jack Muskrat proves how effective a poker song can be when done acoustically and how easy it is. Muskrat isn’t a top star from a television show; he’s an aspiring artist from England who has covered one of the best tracks from the wonderful London Calling album. There’s some debate whether the cheat of the title is playing poker, but we’re going to assume he is to get this haunting version of The Clash classic onto the list. Slowed down and stripped back, you can feel the protagonist’s agony, and Muskrat’s vocals perfectly suit the pure guitar melody.
If you find this content helpful, please consider a donation. Thank you!
Leave a reply