There's a lot of top-notch musical talent in Central New York. They're all very talented, and they all have developed their own distinct styles and sounds. We wondered about their influences when it comes to national artists and tunes.

So, we asked a small selection of CNY artists, independent of each other, to name their favorite famous song to cover when they play in public, and the reason(s) why....

Lesley Roberts, the lead singer of Route 66, joked "it should be obvious." She explained that she usually changes the famous lyric to "Get your kicks with Route 66."

Seth Becker from The Old Main said "Can't You See," by the Marshall Tucker Band, "because everyone knows it and it's impossible not to sing along." Here's their version:

Jose Lopez, the one-time soccer goalie and longtime member of Showtime, picked "Touch of Grey," by the Grateful Dead, due to "lush harmonies, a funky bass line, deep groove, meaningful lyrics, a hot guitar riff and a great hook."

Justin Smithson from Showtime picked Toto's "Rosanna," because he likes "the harmonies and the challenge of Steve Lukather's [guitar] playing." Here's Showtime's version:

Keyboard hero Keith James also chose a Toto song, "Africa," and said he enjoys playing a slower version in his solo act. "The funny thing," he added, "is that when you dive into the lyrics, it doesn't make a whole ton of sense." So, he said its appeal "must have something to do with the music itself."

Tim Moyer of Gridley Paige wrote down Journey's "Separate Ways," Gavin DeGraw's "Not Over You," and Train's "Calling All Angels." Since he's a dead ringer for Train's lead singer Pat Monahan and these are all staples of our Lite 98.7 library, we'll let Tim have all three.

Liz Strodel tabbed "Bring It On Home to Me," originated by Sam Cooke and covered by Dave Mason and plenty of others. She says she loves performing it with her husband, Pete McMahon, as he "sings the lead...and I play guitar and sing harmonies."

Polka legend Fritz Scherz surprised us with "All Along the Watchtower," the Bob Dylan tune that Jimi Hendrix made famous, and sent a link to a performance:

John Cerio from The Rhythm Method selected "Sweet Child of Mine," by Guns & Roses, because "it's a fun song and it never fails to get the crowd singing along."

Gary Johnson first named "Free Falling" by Tom Petty and "How's It Going to Be" by Third Eye Blind, then settled on "Take On Me," by A-Ha.

We KNOW we missed some local artists, so drop me a note on Facebook Messenger or elsewhere, and we'll do Part Two.

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