Welcome, everyone, to the first installment of the Open Mic Sessions, where I’ll bring you my performances of my original songs from various open mic nights. The video will be a bit choppy, the sound won’t be perfect, and there usually aren’t too many people in the crowd, but it’s been a lot of fun for me to do these, so I wanted to share my original song performances with the world!
Today’s video is of my song, “Choose Your Words (Carefully)” from my 2012 album, “Those Around Us”. I think I’ve received a great response to this song every time I play it live. People either relate to the words…or just find the chorus catchy. Either way, it’s been one of my favorites to play and is always the standby song for when someone says, “Play one more!”
This video was taken by my brother Mike at Sam Ash music store in New Haven, CT on April 3rd, 2013. As you can probably tell, there wasn’t much of a crowd…but the staff sure seemed to like it! Sometimes, even if there isn’t a big audience, it’s still cool to hear your original song amplified like that. There’s something empowering about that.
I hope you enjoy tonight’s video and stay tuned each week for more videos from the Open Mic Sessions!
Wow, how long has it been?!?! I’ve been so incredibly busy that I keep looking back and saying to myself, “Hey, hasn’t Thursday just passed?” Between work, refinancing a mortgage, ditching cable for DirecTV, working on the house and lawn, and much more, I can’t believe it’s already almost Christmas time! I’m really excited about it and hope to have some more free time to do videos and just enjoy life, you know? I’m most excited about writing and recording my new set of songs- I’m already up to 13! Plus, we’re hoping to get our basement finished soon, and that means I’ll have a brand-new “studio” of sorts to record my videos in! I’ll have more room, be able to use instruments I haven’t touched since I moved-in over a year ago, and will have much better lighting. Plus, who wants to see a printer in the background, anyway?
Onto tonight’s video!
I have such a long list of videos to record now, but I’m starting here with a song I’m sure you’ve never heard of. Normally, I like to take songs that weren’t originally “acoustic” and turn them into the classic Laptop Sessions “a man and his guitar” format. But this is just a great song and shows that a true simple acoustic guitar tune can be just as good as a fully produced song. Sure, the Thorns (a band formed by three mid-90s solo acts to form a sort of “supergroup”) sing in great three-part harmony on the song. But, I’ve never been able to find other people to sing in that range with me on a consistent basis. So, I’m going it alone on this one!
Doesn’t the guitar part just sparkle on my new Martin? I truly love playing this guitar and it makes all of my videos sound that much better. Now, I’m not knocking the nylon string guitar. That guitar is so easy to play and I love its mellow sound. It’s great to sing with because you don’t have to fight with the loudness of a steel-string guitar.
On a side note about “I Told You”, I believe I read that Van Dyke Parks (of Beach Boys ‘SMiLE” fame) plays the accordion on the original recording. The Thorns used a lot of older musicians and collaborators on their only album from 2002. Jim Keltner, the drummer for the Traveling Wilbruys, plays the drums on the whole album! Now that’s pretty cool. One of the songs even features a bass harmonica, which is used on the Beach Boys track “I Know There’s an Answer” from “Pet Sounds”. So, this album was an instant winner with me. If you haven’t heard the Thorns self-titled album, please do yourself a favor and get it. You won’t be disappointed.
One final personal aside for a moment- I’ve been going-through the audio versions of every single Laptop Sessions acoustic cover and original song I’ve ever recorded. I’m up to 221 videos now. That’s GOTTA be a record! I wanted to do a project where I chose my favorite videos and recordings. But, I’m over 150 songs into the list now and am no closer to compiling a list. I hope I get popular enough to have my own historian someday. That way, I won’t have to keep track of all this myself.
It’s good to be back here on the site. I sincerely hope that I’ll be posting regularly from now on, but who knows. Something always manages to come up. Have a great couple of weeks and I hope to see you again in early December!
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone and welcome to this special holiday edition of the Laptop Sessions music blog with me, Jim Fusco! Tonight, I bring you a great Beatles cover song in “I Need You”, written by George Harrison.
I’ve always been a huge fan of George Harrison’s songs, as I’m sure you know by now. To me, he helped make Paul McCartney and John Lennon better as songwriters. Why? Because they were given a different perspective on each album. I honestly wish the songwriting was more balanced throughout the Beatles recordings.
Tonight’s Beatles cover song is the first of a “Twin Spin” of sorts. Two weeks from now, I’ll be debuting another song with the same name: “I Need You” by the bad America. Gerry Beckley, the writer of that song, is a huge Beatles fan, and I think there are some definite similarities between the two songs. The endings of both songs sound very similar to me, and I think it was done purposefully by America.
“I Need You” is one of the earlier songs George Harrison wrote for the Beatles. In the beginning, you could tell that George really was the “quiet Beatle”. He wrote songs with a self-lamenting tone to them. Another example is “Don’t Bother Me”.
This acoustic cover song music video took me only one take. That happens when I both love the song…and know all the lyrics.
I’m not going to get all gushy and emotional about Thanksgiving here on the music blog, but I will say that I hope you have a great day. It’s honestly my favorite day of the year- you have everything to look forward to!
And, I hope you enjoy tonight’s acoustic Beatles cover song music video. Oh, and as a quick update regarding my re album, “Those Around Us”, I have the final album art and it looks AMAZING! I can’t wait to debut it to the world. I hope to see you next week for part two of my “I Need You” cover song video mini-series!
Could it be Jim Fusco covering a woman’s song…in the original key?? Then you KNOW it’s the Laptop Sessions acoustic cover songs music video blog- the BEST music video blog ever created!
This is a great song, isn’t it? It’s off of Carole (not to be confused with “Carol”) King’s classic hit album, “Tapestry”. I’ll admit that I don’t have the album and just know the single from hearing it many times on the radio. But, after hearing what a great tune it is (you know, actually just sitting and listening to it), I think I may give the album a try. It’s a fairly simple song and reminds me (especially the ending, which ends on the same chord and with the same pattern) of a song my brother Mike and I wrote a long time ago called “Stuck In A Dream”. You can listen to that song, which is off of the “Meaningless: Echoes of Dreams” sessions, by clicking HERE! We wrote that song about six or seven years ago, so you know that this song, even though it uses some great Major 7th chords, is still pretty simple. On the piano, it’s much easier than it is on the guitar.
But, it’s got some great guitar parts in the original recording- a very cool solo. Plus, it’s got that nifty little piano riff thrown in there, which again, for some reason, strikes me as something only a rudimentary songwriter would put in. You know, someone that’s just tinkering around with the piano and came up with it.
So, I finally do a song from a female artist and here I am picking it apart, calling it amateurish. No, I don’t mean that at all. That’s one of the reasons why I want to hear the rest of the “Tapestry” album- if some of the other songs strike me as “professional”, I’ll know she came up with this song on purpose, and I do believe that’s the case.
This is a pretty powerful song, especially the part about “not trying”. Too many relationships fail not because the people weren’t compatible, but because they just stopped trying. Effort is truly the number one factor in a relationship, in my opinion. I mean, this song isn’t saying what I’m really thinking right now- I’m getting married in less than two weeks and, contrary to what everyone insists on telling me, I’m full of hope and happiness for this. I’ve promised time and time again that I will always put as much effort as possible into my relationship, as it’s the single most important thing to me. Not music, not anything else- my relationship with my family (which will include my new wife) and my closest friends.
The way this song relates to me right now is that I kind of feel I’m not getting the same effort back from some of the people I consider close. And some, like the song says, are irreparable. That’s not to say that myself and the other person won’t be happy again- we certainly will. It just won’t be as a result of one another. The only thing I can hang my hat on at the moment that makes me feel any better is the “fact” (at least from my point of view) that the decisions that got it to this point were not mine at all- if it were up to me, everything would’ve stayed the same. But, alas, just as Carole King sings, it’s just too late, baby.
I hope you enjoy my acoustic rendition of this classic song tonight. I had a b***** of a time getting it right, as I must’ve done about twenty takes and even after I got the perfect one, I realized it had all kinds of inexplicable pops and clicks in the audio, which I’m trying to fix now. I hope you can listen past the imperfections and hear one of my better performances underneath. Have a great week and stay tuned for Chris’ post from the Dylan concert tomorrow and Jeff and Chris later on!