dance music for weddings

Can’t Stop The Feeling-J.T.

I first wrote about Justin Timberlake’s  new feel-good dance hit when it came out last May, connected to the kids’ animated feature Trolls. It was another immediate can’t-miss, radio-ready, much-loved JT signature winner. Infectious. Simple. The kind of song that makes you want to dance. In your living room, and especially at weddings. The video is phenomenal, featuring the cast, with Anna Kendrick singing into her hairbrush and James Corden dancing on the beach, among many others, and JT, himself, totally adorable.  Months later, when we play “Can’t Stop The Feeling” at weddings, the dance floor is packed to its edges, from the first note. The song is just that good. I think Justin Timberlake personifies everything that’s right about pop music.  His instincts are perfect. At 36, he’s won ten Grammy Awards with four Primetime Emmy Awards, won for hosting and singing on “Saturday Night Live.”

What JT does best is that he possesses an inherent joy in everything he chooses to do.  And he lets it show. Justin Timberlake was the lead singer of the 90s boy band NSYNC, which sold over 50 million records from 1995-2002. In that seven year period he sold more than 20 million albums from only three studio albums. Pretty incredible.  Then he showed up in half a dozen movies including “The Social Network” and “Friends With Benefits.” In 2002, he started recording as a solo artist. And then things really got exciting.

“Can’t Stop The Feeling” is JT’s first single in three years which would be a lifetime in most artists’ careers. But not Justin’s. It’s just great to have you back, JT, doing what you do best. The lyrics seem straight from the pen of his sometime producer Pharrell Williams.

I got this feeling inside my bones
It goes electric, wavey when I turn it on
All through my city, all through my home
We’re flying up, no ceiling when we in our zone

I got that sunshine in my pocket
Got that good song in my feet
I feel that hot blood in my body when it drops, ooh
I can’t take my eyes up off it, moving so phenomenally
You gon’ like the way we rock it, so don’t stop


Love it. Welcome back JT.


Strip That Down – Liam Payne ft. Quavo


One of the many  things I love about having a twenty-two year old son in law school is that he’s got absolutely impeccable taste in dance music. Around a month ago, he sent me this song, which I listened to for 20 seconds, and immediately sent it to rest of the band. We played it that Saturday night, and have played it at every party since.

What immediately caught my attention was how Strip That Down manages to be instantly danceable, without the use of any actual…drums. What did they do? 
From the first beat, they seamlessly integrated synthesized “snaps,” a touch of snare drum, and the word “hey” repeated in the background…all comprising the only elements of percussion. The distinctive plucked (“pizzicato”) bass line is what gives the song its drive. Very cool.

Strip That Down doesn’t feel like it’ll have tremendous longevity, but for now… definitely keeps people on the dance floor. Liam sounds a bit like a young Justin Timberlake.         

Definitely a career worth watching.

Uptown Funk-Bruno Mars

Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson’s collaboration of “Uptown Funk” won the “Album of the Year Award” for the 2016 Grammys last night even though it feels like it’s been around for two or three years. The very first time I heard it, near the end of 2014, I was dazzled by its unabashed homage to 80s and 90s R & B giants Earth Wind & Fire and Morris Day & The Time. The prominent staccato Earth Wind & Fire horn line is as memorable as any of the lyrics. The groove, as well as the all-male dance line, is a loving tribute to Morris Day & The Time’s 1990’s “Jungle Love.”

However, Mars wasn’t finished in his loving tribute to the great funk music of the 80s & 90s. His performance at last month’s Super Bowl keeps all the elements of his original recording but adds a musical and visual homage to MC Hammer “U Can’t Touch This” and James Brown’s “Get Up Offa That Thing.”  The dance moves and baggy pants are a direct, loving nod to MC Hammer’s “U Can’t Touch This.” The new bass line provided a more subtle nod to the undeniably identifiable James Brown classics. To Marc Ronson’s credit, he humbly thanked to great George Clinton, and his group Parliament-Funkadelic, as well as the late, great Earth Wind & Fire’s Maurice White during last night’s GRAMMY AWARD acceptance speech.

Bruno-Just The Way You Are

Bruno Mars is clearly emerging as the ultimate Pop Music Maestro of the 21st century. The man is a hit-making machine, and will hopefully keep churning them out, and performing them with his charismatic charm and astonishing dance moves. The best thing about Bruno Mars, missing in so many young Pop performers, is that he clearly LOVES what he’s doing. No matter how enjoyable it is to watch this remarkable sensation, he always seems to be having a better time than us.

Keep going Bruno. I can’t wait to see what’s next.

Wake Me Up-Avici

There’s something catchy about this song that’s hard to quantify. It starts out with a lazy guitar riff, and sounds like the beginning of a country song. But it gains momentum and by the time you hit the chorus, “So wake me up when it’s all over….”, the dance floor’s packed. The song just works. As with just about every other great dance song it’s easily “sing-alongable.” If that’s not a word…it is now. Check it out.

Rather Be-Clean Bandit/Jess Glynne

‘Rather Be” by the British band Clean Bandit, featuring the omnipresent Jess Glynne,  is a terrific dance song. Following the rather unique violins opening the song, an electric piano takes over the rhythm, along with the drums and bass. However, throughout the whole song there are many truly interesting orchestration choices, which is very rare today when entire songs are done on synthesizers. Even the harmonies on the chorus really fatten up the sound of this really great dance tune.

“Rather Be” gets people dancing, right from the violin introduction. Give Clean Bandit’s hit a shot at your next party. It’s a guaranteed dance floor hit.

Here are some of the lyrics:
We’re a thousand miles from comfort, we have traveled land and sea
But as long as you are with me, there’s no place I’d rather be
I would wait forever, exalted in the scene
As long as I am with you, my heart continues to beat
With every step we take, Kyoto to The Bay, strolling so casually
We’re different and the same, gave you another name, switch up the batteries

If you gave me a chance I would take it
It’s a shot in the dark but I’ll make it
Know with all of your heart, you can’t shame me
When I am with you, there’s no place I’d rather be
N-n-n-no, no, no, no place I’d rather be
N-n-n-no, no, no, no place I’d rather be
N-n-n-no, no, no, no place I’d rather be


This one is a clear winner. A terrific crowd pleasing dance hit at any party.

Leave a comment to let me know what you think.



Vivir Mi Vida-Marc Anthony

I have always loved Salsa music. There is so much soul invested in the unique percussion rhythms, the powerful horns, and the stylistic joy that makes “Salsa” almost impossible not to dance to. Even though the only two Spanish words I know are “hola,” and coño, which is a source of embarrassment since I found out what “coño” actually means, although having a good curse word or two can be pretty handy.

I had my band learn the song in its original Spanish and have played it at four weddings so far. I’m pretty sure none of the guests knew the song, but the dance floor was packed within seconds of hearing this incredible beat.

I promise you don’t have to understand a world of Spanish to love Marc Anthony’s “Vivir Mi Vida.” If this is the first time you’re hearing Salsa,,,Bienvenidos Amigos!

Vivir Mi Vida
Voy a reír, voy a bailar
vivir mi vida, la, la, la, la
Voy a reír, voy a gozar
vivir mi vida, la, la, la, la
A veces llega la lluvia
para limpiar las heridas
A veces sólo una gota
puede vencer la sequía
Y para qué llorar, ¿Pa’ qué?
Si duele una pena, se olvida
Y para qué sufrir, ¿Pa’ qué?
Si así es la vida, hay que vivirla
Voy a reír, voy a bailar
vivir mi vida, la, la, la, la
Voy a reír, voy a gozar
vivir mi vida, la, la, la, la
Voy a vivir el momento
para entender el destino
Voy a escuchar en silencio
para encontrar el camino
Y para qué llorar, ¿Pa’ qué?
Si duele una pena, se olvida
Y para qué sufrir, ¿Pa’ qué?
Si duele una pena, se olvida
Voy a reír, voy a bailar
vivir mi vida, la, la, la, la
Voy a reír, voy a gozar
vivir mi vida, la, la, la, la
Leave a comment, or a request for me to review.

Want To Want Me-Jason DeRulo

Jason DeRulo’s song “Want To Want Me” is a truly infectious song, highlighted by DeRulo’s incredible vocal range. As a contemporary dance song. I can’t really see “Want To Want Me”
being more than a sensational song-of-the-moment. Yet… there’s a playful sincerity to DeRulo’s best songs, including “Want To Want Me.”  What makes this video particularly fun to watch as well as listen to is its split-screen format, with the vocals pouring in from country music superstar Luke Bryan, who looks like he’s having the most amazing time, just being a part of it all, trying to keep up with Jason’s “Prince-like” falsetto.This is a song to be enjoyed, and to dance to, rather than be analyzed for its musical complexities nor its  fairly inconsequential lyrics. “Want To Want Me”  is everything  it’s supposed to be, a flat-out fun dance song. Enjoy.

Here are the lyrics:
It’s so hard to sleep,
I got the sheets on the floor, listen to me
And I can’t take it no more it’s a hundred degrees,
I got one foot out the door, where are my keys?  I gotta leave, yeah
In the back of the cab,
I tip the driver, head to town. Give me the best.
I got your body on my mind, I want it back.
Ooh, just the thought of you gets me so high, so high

Girl, you don’t want, I want you to want me
And if you want, hey girl, you got me
There’s nothing I know I wouldn’t do, I wouldn’t do
Just to get up next you
Girl, you don’t want I want you to want me
And if you want, girl you got me
There’s nothing I know I wouldn’t do, I wouldn’t do
Just to get up next you

jason derulo:luke bryan

Great, fun, can’t-miss dance song. Congrats to Country Music superstar Luke Bryan for being game enough to attempt a duet with the soulful Jason DeRulo. He more than holds his own. Leave me a comment to let me know what you think!

Bills-LunchMoney Lewis

This terrific dance song is, arguably, an infectious “love-it-or-hate-it” piece of music, especially if your taste runs on the traditional side. But I do love it!  For starters,  when was the last time you heard a real piano on a pop dance hit? Let alone a really, really funky piano on a pop dance hit? Add a great jazz “walking” bass line, “gospel” drums and genuinely funny lyrics? For me and a lot of my clients, it’s a song that makes you want to get up and dance. The catchy, repetitive chorus is so beautifully simple that people can sing along before they’ve heard it for the first time.

Here are the lyrics:

I got bills I gotta pay
So I’m gon’ work, work, work every day
I got mouths I gotta feed,
So I’m gon’ make sure everybody eats
I got bills!


At the very least, “Bills”  is an incredibly fresh sounding song, using real instruments instead of simple layering synthesizers on top of synthesized drums. I love the “feel” of this song.
Check it out, and let me know if you don’t at least have a smile on your face.

Leave a comment and let me know what you think.

Ain’t It Fun-Paramore

“Ain’t It Fun” by Paramore is a fabulous dance song. It works terrifically well to get you and your friends up dancing. The accompanying video actually fits the lyrics perfectly. This song is called “Ain’t It Fun,” so instead of showing some heavy “green screen fantasia,” it merely shows the three lead members of the band….having fun. Those three are actually Hayley Williams, Taylor York and Jeremy Davis.
I actually wanted to go out and smash a clock with an electric guitar the first time I saw the video. Musically, I love that the repetitive 5-note guitar riff doesn’t just fade out after the intro. It keeps repeating throughout. It’s just a really fun song to play and judging from guests’ reactions at parties, it’s really fun to dance to.
Even the lyrics, which are sometimes completely inconsequential in a pop dance song, are funny, in a thoroughly appropriate though sarcastic way.

I don’t mind letting you down easy but just give it time
If it don’t hurt now, but just wait just wait a while
You’re not the big fish in the pond no more
You are what they’re feeding on
So what are you gonna do when the world don’t orbit around you
Ain’t it fun living in the real world
Ain’t it good being all alone
Where you’re from, you might be the one who’s running things
Well you can ring anybody’s bell and get what you want
See it’s easy to ignore trouble. When you’re living in a bubble
So what are you gonna do when the world don’t orbit around you
So what are you gonna do when nobody wants to fool with you
Ain’t it fun living in the real world
Ain’t it good being all alone……


The unison fade out is just dripping with sarcasm as well:
Don’t go crying to your mama, when you’re all alone in the real world.

I love this song. Don’t let it “bum you out”.  It’s definitely an independence anthem and a bit edgy, but the song is bold and its guitar riff is irresistible. And that makes it a can’t miss winner on the dance floor, and a great song to work out to.

Enjoy. I’d love to know your reaction to this song…..Doug