Welcome to the first post of the New Year here on the Laptop Sessions acoustic cover songs music video blog!
I, for some reason, inherited the reigns on the Guest Sessions. It’s a daunting task, as we get many, many, many submissions sent to us. I think the Guest Sessions submission page is our most popular page here on the music blog! I’d say the ratio of good videos to bad videos is about 50/50, but even some of those good videos just aren’t right for the Laptop Sessions style of cover song videos. Once in a while, I come across a video that’s done in our normal music video style, like the one I’m presenting here today.
Of the really great things about The Guest Sessions here on the Laptop Sessions acoustic cover songs music video blog is that we get submissions for songs that we would never normally cover ourselves. We also get artists that I’ve never even heard of before, but are popular in today’s music scene.
Today’s video, “Royals”, is a cover of a song I hear constantly on the radio. I’m sure there are thousands of covers of this song on YouTube, as I see the chords aren’t exactly difficult. The original artist is Lorde, who is a singer and songwriter from New Zealand. The song is about the feelings of making the best of what you have because, face it, 99.99999999% of us will never be royalty!
Holly Drummond, a young British woman, sent in this video of her playing guitar and singing “Royals”. While not necessarily my style of music to begin with, I can definitely appreciate Holly’s talent and ability to cover this song well. I hope you’ll check it out and let Holly know what you think!
Stay tuned for more Guest Sessions videos as the weeks roll on- I’ve got plenty to choose from, so there will always be something new to read and watch here on the best music blog out there- the Laptop Sessions!
Last week, my wife and I were on vacation in Las Vegas. We were SO excited to learn that we were there on opening night of “Surf: The Musical”! We got tickets and honestly, I didn’t know what to expect. We went over to Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino…
Well, we were pleasantly surprised! The show featured 30 Beach Boys songs and even had a couple of obscure ones, like Dennis Wilson’s “Be Still” (from the 1969 album “20/20”) and (slightly less obscure) “Getcha Back” (from the 1985 album “The Beach Boys”).
One of the coolest moments was after a car crash, the chorus sang “Our Prayer” (from Smile)- it was the perfect song choice. Actually, I was surprised at how well the lyrics to all the songs fit in so well with the story. They had to change a few lyrics (mostly gender-related), but it was done well.
Of course, the show was “Vegas-fied” with a lot of dancing, skimpier outfits than anyone would’ve worn in 1965, and there were a lot of special effects and lighting tricks. The background was a set of three large LCD screens. That was a great touch because the background changed with each scene- it allowed them to have different “locations” without having a ton of set props. There was even a really cool Ferris Wheel effect that drew applause from the audience.
The singing was done pretty well- normally I can’t stand hearing people over-dramatize my favorite songs. But, these stayed fairly true to the originals.
Overall, we had a ton of fun and I would really recommend it to any Beach Boys fan. I hope it does well!
Well, as promised, I’m back with your Wednesday edition of Jim Fusco Tuesdays! Don’t understand that? Then you should be visiting the blog more often! Tuesdays are my usual day to post, but unfortunately, I didn’t have my camera last night, so I had to put-off doing the video until today. I also recorded another video for next week that you’re going to LOVE. It’s from a guy you probably haven’t heard of, but he’s new to the blog and he’s a well-respected musician. I guess you’ll have to wait in suspense until then!
I can’t believe it- this blog has been up for well over two years and there hasn’t been a Grateful Dead song done yet! Late last year, I decided that I wanted to learn more about the Grateful Dead. Back in high school and early college, I used to work at the now defunct Cheshire Video and Disc (a local video store). I used to work with this hippy girl named Karen. She was cool- we used to work on Sunday mornings together and always had a nice time. She used to play this Grateful Dead VHS tape during our shift every week. It was from the 80’s. It was a trippy kind of concert- crazy 80’s video effects and extended drum solos. But, I really enjoyed the songs.
Fast-forward about seven years to the present-day. I finally got my Grateful Dead “Best Of” for Christmas from my mother in law and I was so excited to play it for the first time. My boss had re-ignited my interest for the band, as he put a few of their songs on a mix CD for me. So, I got the CD and played it at work for the first time. I LOVED IT!!
It’s 17 songs and, believe me, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better overall “Best Of”. It has all of my favorite elements: harmonies, good guitar, everyone plays their own instruments, and (my personal favorite) multiple band members writing songs!! Actually, my favorite song on the whole “Best Of” CD (which I will definitely cover in the future) is “Box Of Rain”, written by bassist Phil Lesh. (On another note, I hear he and former Dead member Bob Weir are now touring as “Furthur”, but the show in my hometown of Wallingford, CT is SOLD OUT! Grrr….)
Anyway, there are so many great songs on this disc- from the ones you’ve heard of (and probably didn’t know they did them) like “Truckin'”, “Casey Jones”, and “Touch of Grey” to the ones that you haven’t heard of yet, this is a top-to-bottom rare “Best Of” find. The last times I felt this great about a “Best Of” was when I purchased the America and Doobie Brothers’ discs. So, what I’m saying is, if you haven’t purchased the Grateful Dead “Best Of” (the one with 17 tracks- NOT the cheap 10-track version), then you should really give it a try.
Tonight’s song is “Friend of the Devil”. At first, this wasn’t one of my favorites, but it’s catchy and the story is pretty cool, so it grew on me quickly. I love singing it in that Jerry Garcia drawl. Plus, this was an easy one to convert to acoustic. Most of their songs aren’t so easy because of their great harmonies. I’ve wanted to do so many of their songs, but it just won’t sound right without someone else singing with me (who knows the song really well, too).
So, whatever idea you had of the Dead (I thought it was just a stupid stoner band that jammed nonsensical songs for hours on end…which may be true for the live sets, as I’ve heard), throw it away! They’re a tight band that last quite a while and came up with some great songs. And now I’m even more excited that I can build my vinyl record collection with some of their interesting albums, such as their lone 60’s record (from 1967, which I’m INCREDIBLY interested in hearing) and their all-time classic from 1970, American Beauty.
Enjoy tonight’s LSHD video and make sure to come back next week for my newest obsession in music!
Hello and welcome to another edition of the Laptop Sessions acoustic cover songs music video blog! We’re back again with a cover song video from the Traveling Wilburys- their most famous song, “Handle With Care”. When I was four years old, this song came out and it’s one of my first musical memories. Plus, it’s been one of my favorite songs for 20 years.
We’ve been playing this song live for years. It’s usually the full electric set, but we’ve done it live and acoustically here for the Laptop Sessions music blog. As I’ve mentioned many times in the past, the goal of the Laptop Sessions cover songs blog is twofold. First, we want to put an end to bad YouTube cover song videos forever. And second? We want to give a different take on our favorite songs. This track, though mostly acoustically based in the original recording, is still not the same without George Harrison’s amazing lead guitar part. But, we figured it would make the song sound different to only break out the acoustic guitars and the bongos for this cover song video.
One thing I love about this performance is the energy our band, Masters of the Universe (or MoU), puts into “Handle With Care”. From the video, you can tell that we’re all having a good time singing one of our favorite Traveling Wilburys songs. The harmonies, though not perfect (or complete, without band member Becky), are still pretty good. And sure, the bongos are a bit louder than we would’ve liked. But again, this was a fun acoustic live performance. I think that having more energy in a video recording is even better than getting it note-perfect. That’s one of the reasons why Masters of the Universe earned a nomination for Best Album of the Year by the New Haven Advocate in 2006. We made an album that consisted mostly of our live set of original songs. The songs sound great, but if we recorded everything separately, it probably would’ve come out much cleaner. But, the thing that made MoU’s album stand out from the rest was the energy we had. The songs would start out slowly and gradually get faster as it went on. You can tell that the band is having a good time when something like that happens. Plenty of people can play music in a technically correct manner. But, it’s something special when you’ve got a band firing on all cylinders, playing music together in a circle. You can really feel the energy in that album.
I know this has been requested before, so I hope you enjoy tonight’s Traveling Wilburys cover song! It’s my tribute to both George Harrison and Roy Orbison, and you know I’ll be doing more songs from George, Roy, and the Wilburys in the weeks to come!