About Jim Fusco

Jim Fusco is a singer, songwriter, guitarist, and all-around musician. Learn all about him and his creative works at http://jimfusco.com!

“Christmas Morning” by Jim Fusco – FREE mp3 Download! – Day 14 of 14

By Jim Fusco:

And here it is- the end of the line.  I can’t believe we’re already through all 14 days of my Rock’n’Roll Christmas celebration!  Remind me to never do this again. :-)

Today’s song is my original Christmas tune, “Christmas Morning”, that I wrote back in high school!  I personally think every artist has ONE good Christmas song in them.  And, to be honest, I’m not exactly sure that I’d ever be able to come up with another one as catchy as this one, so I don’t think I’m going to try!

I recorded this song for the first time back in 2004 for our Christmas album, “Our Christmas Gift To You”.  At the time, I was just getting used to playing the guitar and recording with my digital 24-track.  I had basic microphones, too.  Now, I have a Cab Clone to record my guitars, various tube amps, high quality mics, compressors, preamps, and…the same 24 track mixer.  But, if you’ve heard both versions, you can really tell a big difference.  I’ll probably end-up recording this again in the future after my equipment gets even better!

My wife Becky helps me sing on this tune, too.  I was going to have my brother Mike help out, but he was sick when he came home for Thanksgiving, so he couldn’t sing on it.  Next time, though!

I hope you’ve had as much fun reading and listening to these Christmas songs as I have making them.  It’s a pretty big accomplishment for me to do all of this while being so busy otherwise.  I hope I can maybe just do one song a year from now on, just to keep me into the recording process.  Enjoy “Christmas Morning” and have a Merry Christmas!

Music Review: Meade Skelton’s “Meade Music” album satisfies like a glass of “Sweet Tea”

Originally posted 2012-07-11 21:52:29. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco:

As a “Yankee” from up here in Connecticut, I honestly had no idea if I would be able to relate to Meade Skelton’s new album, “Meade Music”.  With song titles like, “Sweet Tea”, “Old South”, and “Me And My Horse”, would I really understand the sentiments Meade was trying to convey in his music?  Up in Connecticut, sweet tea is bought pre-brewed at Stop & Shop and I see a horse about once a year grazing in some rich person’s sprawling yard.  As I said, I really wasn’t sure what to expect…

So, I started to play the album…and smiled.  It only took one listen for me to realize that the smile on my face was due to Meade’s sincerity, piano-playing skills, and and songwriting ability.  But, we’ll get to that soon.  First, some background:

Meade Skelton is a singer/songwriter/piano player from Richmond, VA.  This is not the first of his albums reviewed here at the Laptop Sessions music video blog, but it’s the first one I’ve reviewed, so his music was a new experience for me.  Meade and his Meadow Street Band are a very active group, and I can see why.  One look at “Meade’s Place” (the name for his website at http://www.meadeskeltonsplace.com) and you can see the passion Meade has for his music.  His dedication is inspiring, actually.

There are a few stand-out elements of Meade’s album.  First is his superb piano playing.  He plays with passion.  He also plays to fill the sound out (there isn’t much guitar on the album, save for a really great lap steel guitar here and there), but he never does too much.  The jangly upright piano style is perfectly suited for his little bit country/little bit rock’n’roll music. Probably the best element of this album is Meade’s singing voice.  It’s strong in the right places, but he never screams.  It’s got a clear sound with just the right amount of melancholy.  He uses that down-south vibrato at times, but thankfully he never over-does it.  The only element I’m not too fond of on the album is the drumming, as it’s off-tempo at many times, which detracts from the listening experience.  If a more country sound is what Meade was going for on this album, then a bona fide country drummer would’ve been better than conforming a rock drummer to that alternate style. Though, I would love to hear these songs played with a rock drum beat, just for the heck of it.

The overall style of sound on “Meade Music” reminds me of the Byrds when they went into their country phase.  It’s a sophisticated sound that sounds like country at first, but really has many elements of a rock’n’roll background.  But, the best part of Meade’s songwriting actually harks to a different style of songwriter: Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys.  You see, upon first listen, many Beach Boys classic songs can be written off as “happy fluff”.  But, Brian Wilson always had a great knack of integrating a sadder undertone to his music.  It showed that his music came from the heart and a place of innocence.  Meade may be singing about memories of the bus he used to take in “Old Bus 48”, but the minor chord changes Meade throws in throughout the album give the listener a feeling of a somber remembrance- it’s the feeling that, while Meade looks back with fondness, he also misses those good ol’ days.  I think that’s what gives “Meade Music” some great staying power.  And, the fact that he uses his reflection on the past so well made me relate to the songs I thought were way out of my comfort-zone, like I mentioned earlier.

My favorite track on the album is “Before You Go”, a late-album gem.  The general sound reminds me of The Turtles’ classic “Eleanore”.  The subject matter is a little more serious than on the rest of the album, that is, “Before You Go” is more upfront about it.  This is the song I would play for any prospective listener first.

Meade’s new album is available everywhere, but you should look for it on Amazon.com (mp3 digital download here) and at CD Baby (on CD here).  Also, available in August 2012, you can purchase the album on vinyl, which I think would suit this album wonderfully.  You should definitely give this album a listen and check out the rest of Meade’s Music on his website!

“It Ain’t Me Babe” (Turtles & Bob Dylan Cover)

Originally posted 2009-08-26 00:06:37. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco:

Hey hey, everyone!  Time for another Laptop Session acoustic cover song music video from yours truly, Jim Fusco!

Tonight, I bring you a song that I’ve known for a very long time- “It Ain’t Me Babe” by the Turtles.  Of course, it took until Chris became interested in Bob Dylan (sometime around 2000) for me to realize that he actually wrote this song.  So, why did I come back to it tonight?

Well, I love the Turtles version- it’s a great rock song that has slow parts on the verses and faster rockin’ parts on the choruses.  Plus, it’s short and just has so much energy packed into it’s two minutes.

But, I also thought of covering it because I was just listening to “The Bob Dylan Show”, which is a radio show on our own WCJM Radio.  This really isn’t a great show in terms of execution- Chris and I did it on a whim and Chris just wasn’t on his “A-game” when it came to on-air chatter.  For the most part, the show seems forced and that’s probably why I kept it offline and in the archives since the summer of 2001 when it was recorded.

Actually, an interesting note- Chris talks about looking forward to when Dylan’s new album at the time, “Love and Theft”, would be released- he says he can’t wait for September 11th to get here.  Little did we all know…

But, I digress.

The show actually redeems itself because of the music (which is surprising when talking about a show with all Bob Dylan music).  The covers of his songs from Manfred Mann (“The Mighty Quinn”) and George Harrison (“I’d Have You Anytime” and the co-written “If Not For You”) are great additions.  I actually listened to the show twice this week (putting up with the really poor dialogue- I’ve had better conversations with myself!) because I wanted to hear those great cover versions of Dylan’s songs again from the likes of Eric Clapton (“Born In Time”), Jimi Hendrix (“All Along the Watchtower”) and, of course, the Byrds.

So, after you’re done watching my acoustic cover song music video here today, you should head on over to WCJM Internet Radio and listen to “The Bob Dylan Show” (or any other show there) absolutely free!  There’s nothing to sign up for or anything like that.  Just click “Play” and start listening.  Click HERE to visit the “Jammin’ With Jim Show” page and click on “The Bob Dylan Show”.

I hope you enjoy both forms of entertainment this Tuesday.  I’m very excited for the next few days, as they’re starting to frame our new home and all employees at work were given a surprise free “Appreciation Day” off, so I get to choose any day in the next two weeks and just not go to work!  I love my job. :-)

Have a great one, and to echo Chris’ sentiment yesterday- please make sure to come back for another great acoustic rock cover song music video from our very own Jeff Copperthite on his “Thumpin’ Thursday” post!  See you next week.

“Sweet Talkin’ Woman” by Electric Light Orchestra (E.L.O.) Cover

Originally posted 2010-09-02 00:10:41. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco:

The 2010-2011 season of the Laptop Sessions with Jim Fusco has now begun!  Back here again after taking the summer off and that’s the way it looks like the schedule will go: September to June.  That way, I can take time off while my wife is off from work.  I’m excited to bring you a whole new crop of Laptop Sessions acoustic cover song music videos- once every two weeks!  In between, I’ll be posting articles, reviews, and more.  There’s a lot going on in this noggin’ of mine, so let me update you on a couple of things I’m up to:

  • I had a nice summer, taking a cruise to Bermuda and doing many activities (mostly that my wife wanted to accomplish during her time off)
  • BIG changes are coming to my suite of websites, including the simplification of everything.  This starts with the removal of fusco-moore.com and the FMP Music Store.  They’re just not necessary anymore.  I’ll keep the MoU site online just for old time’s sake (and, it looks cool), but everything else will be taken down (except for WCJM, of course).  I’m conceptualizing a new JimFusco.com and we’ve been doing some photo shoots to give me some new content.
  • I also have a new Twitter account for my music: jimfuscomusic.  Easy enough, huh?  Please follow me so you can get up to the minute updates on all of my musical ventures!
  • I’m working on a new vocals-only project, but this is more for my own usage.  I always put so much work into my vocals that I wanted to showcase them on a special collector’s album.  More to follow.
  • Finally, and most importantly, I’m working on new songs!  I have nine so far and will probably go to 15 so I can, for the first time, record everything and pick out only the best.  I think this will be important to make the best album I can.  But, I’m not giving up on “Halfway There” just yet, so I’ll be promoting that in the meantime.  We’re still probably a year out before I release anything new.

So, that’s what’s happening.  Now, onto tonight’s video!

I’m back with “Sweet Talkin’ Woman” by Electric Light Orchestra.  This is a great classic rock tune that I’ve known for as long as I can remember.  The song, written and sung by Jeff Lynne, is one of my favorite ELO (or E.L.O., whichever the search engines prefer) songs.

I knew the song started on the “C” chord- you can just hear it in the original recording.  What I didn’t know, however, was that this song is really easy to play.  I mean, when you hear an Electric Light Orchestra song, there’s so much going on that the songs sound like they’re really complicated.  But, even after taking three months off, this still only took me one take to get right!  No, I’m not perfect- I did practice quite a bit off-camera.

I think I got the song down really well and made it my own.  Again, this is definitely a pared-down version from the original, stripping-away the multiple instruments and backing vocals.  The backing vocals presented a bit of a challenge, so I had to pick what I believed to be the “lead” backing vocal note and sing that where necessary.

I hope you don’t notice that I’m getting over a cold.  I’ve been practicing guitar like mad lately, but I’ve been giving my voice a rest after a really bad cold.  You know how the cough lingers with you for weeks afterward?  Well, it’s only been a few days and I’m really holding back in the video.  I can’t even laugh without going into a coughing fit!

I hope you enjoy tonight’s video and that you’ll follow me on Twitter (@jimfuscomusic) so you’ll be the first to know when all my new acoustic cover song music videos and blog posts come out.  So, until next time, here’s “Sweet Talkin’ Woman”!