Suggest me some songs for a male + female + guitar duo!
January 30, 2018 4:22 AM   Subscribe

A work colleague and I have, through being part of the same band, discovered that we really enjoy playing together as an acoustic duo, with just a guitar and our voices. We're looking for new songs to cover. So far we've covered lots of The Civil Wars, which we love, and You + Me… We love a good vocal harmony, so what songs should we tackle next?
posted by gmb to Media & Arts (30 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Are your voices suited to the harmonies of the soundtrack of Once? Very much in that The Civil Wars vein...

Link to the songs on YouTube.
posted by kuanes at 4:33 AM on January 30, 2018 [2 favorites]

Once is a good idea. The two singers went on to form The Swell Season.

Sam Beam (of Iron and Wine) and Jesca Hoop did an album together called "Love Letter for Fire."

Though there's a gender difference, maybe some Indigo Girls songs would work? I can imagine that something like "Least Complicated" could be great.

"Where the Wild Roses Grow" by Nick Cave and Kylie Minogue. Gorgeous murder ballad.
posted by mermaidcafe at 4:59 AM on January 30, 2018

Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings - as well as a ton of their own great material, they've also done some great covers of other songs arranged to suit their style (Black Star by Radiohead, a medley of Bright Eyes' Method Acting and Neil Young's Cortez the Killer). If you both like singing the main line from time to time, the stuff billed as Gillian Welch tends to be her singing the melody & him harmonising underneath, whereas the Dave Rawlings Machine stuff tends to be him singing the melody and her harmonising on top.

If you enjoy old school English folk, Anais Mitchell & Jefferson Hamer's 2013 album Child Ballads has some great arrangements: Willie's Lady, Geordie, Tam Lin.
posted by terretu at 5:40 AM on January 30, 2018 [4 favorites]

The Mountaineer's Courtship
posted by gnuhavenpier at 6:00 AM on January 30, 2018

Somethin' Stupid.
posted by humph at 6:33 AM on January 30, 2018

You could probably find guitar only versions of Richard & Mimi Fariña songs like Pack up Your Sorrows and The Bold Maruader. Or take up the dulcimer.
Pentangle might be a good source too. Also more than guitar but interesting singing.
posted by Botanizer at 6:42 AM on January 30, 2018

If I Needed You by Townes Van Zandt and mostly popularized by Emmylou Harris is often done as a male/female duet.
posted by Candleman at 6:49 AM on January 30, 2018 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Waltz About Whiskey, etc by Mandolin Orange.
No particular song suggestions, but Shovels and Rope.
9 Crimes, etc by Damien Rice.
I am partial to this Blank Space/Style mashup.
posted by sacrifix at 6:58 AM on January 30, 2018

Best answer: Of Monsters and Men have quite a few songs that feature both male and female vocals.
posted by neushoorn at 7:04 AM on January 30, 2018 [1 favorite]

Seconding Shovels and Rope.
posted by Sunburnt at 7:33 AM on January 30, 2018

Kacy & Clayton Rio Grande
posted by doctord at 7:38 AM on January 30, 2018

I forgot this one earlier but it's great: Flo Morrissey & Matthew E White singing Look at What the Light Did Now.
posted by terretu at 7:45 AM on January 30, 2018 [1 favorite]

I just recommended this one to a male-female duo I know!

Shakey Graves and Esme Patterson -
Dearly Departed

posted by treachery, faith, and the great river at 7:59 AM on January 30, 2018

X has a really nice male/female vocal dynamic; their ballady songs unplug well - eg See How We Are.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 8:36 AM on January 30, 2018

Best answer: Might depend on your voices and how you arrange it, but First Aid Kit (2 sisters) do the most hauntingly beautiful harmonies.
posted by fairlynearlyready at 8:58 AM on January 30, 2018 [2 favorites]

"More Of You" by Chris and Morgane Stapleton
posted by exceptinsects at 9:59 AM on January 30, 2018

Best answer: I believe Rodrigo y Gabriela is what you're looking for.
posted by humboldt32 at 10:07 AM on January 30, 2018

Best answer: This is basically Angus and Julia Stone's entire catalogue, I think.
posted by mishafletch at 10:29 AM on January 30, 2018 [1 favorite]

Crystalised by The xx
You Really Got a Hold on Me as performed by She & Him
posted by juliplease at 12:17 PM on January 30, 2018 [1 favorite]

The extensive catalog of Dolly Parton and Porter Wagoner will offer up a great bounty of terrific honky-tonk songs that may fit your bill.
posted by Dr. Wu at 12:18 PM on January 30, 2018 [1 favorite]

Anyone Else But You by the Moldy Peaches. It was in the movie Juno.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 12:40 PM on January 30, 2018

Down by the Water, Decemberists
posted by Oyéah at 2:51 PM on January 30, 2018

Sonny and Cher comes to mind, as does (three-part harmony and strings) Peter, Paul and Mary.
posted by TrishaU at 8:36 PM on January 30, 2018

Best answer: how about Robert Plant and Allison Krauss?
posted by drinkmaildave at 9:01 PM on January 30, 2018

Speaking of Crystalised by The XX. I love this video so much.
posted by humboldt32 at 9:32 AM on January 31, 2018

More Than Words by Extreme, assuming the female voice is low enough.
posted by DrAstroZoom at 1:02 PM on January 31, 2018

Perhaps Andrew Bird and Fiona Apple's Left Handed Kisses
posted by pdxhiker at 9:30 PM on January 31, 2018

Response by poster: Thanks everyone! Lots to chew on here :)
posted by gmb at 1:28 AM on February 1, 2018

A little late to the party, but one of my favorites is John Doe's Golden State, featuring Kathleen Edwards. Eddie Vedder and Natalie Maines also did a great version.
posted by the return of the thin white sock at 5:34 PM on February 6, 2018

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