“Runnin’ Down A Dream” (Tom Petty Cover)

Originally posted 2008-12-20 00:10:16. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jeff Copperthite:

Good evening and welcome to your Friday edition of “Da Sessions” (as a student of mine put it – well, it could’ve been from Ditka too).  Tonight I bring you another one of those “sorta” new band (solo artist?) songs that we like to break out quite frequently.

Tonight’s song is a Tom Petty classic called “Runnin’ Down A Dream”.  It is from his first solo album called “Full Moon Fever”.  This song is well known as having that really cool riff, with the fuzzy guitar and acoustic guitar and constant rock drum beat.  Well, that doesn’t narrow it down much.  Petty is known for having a lot of kick ass tunes in his library.

Tonight I had a battle with myself.  I had no idea which song to record tonight out of the 5 I have remaining for the year.  I spent about an hour deciding to record this song because I felt it was the least intensive on my voice.

I actually had myself a great day today.  I woke up very early and discovered that I was getting an early start to my weekend.  I do so love snow storms and I love it when we get an unexpected day off to enjoy it.  I ended up doing some decorating around the house for Hanukkah, made pancakes for breakfast, and got to enjoy a lot of different things in Final Fantasy XI today.  Because it didn’t start snowing here until about 11:30, my wife still got to go out to the lunch with her coworkers that she wanted to do, and I got to hit the gym like normal.

Now all I got to do is find a time tomorrow to finish my holiday shopping.  Thankfully my wife took care of most of it :).

And I also have tomorrow morning off as well.  Snowstorms do rule.  They’re so good, “It’s like jumping into a foam block pit after being launched off a trampoline 15 feet into the air and you lay there for a while staring up at the ceiling thinking how cool that whole thing just was good”.

Well, tomorrow you can count on Jim to enhance your viewing experience with another acoustic cover song.  I’ll be back on Monday for my next installment.  Seeya then!

Editor’s Note: Unfortunately, Jeff’s acoustic cover song music videos are no longer on YouTube, but we decided to keep his cover song blog posts up.  We figured these music blog entries would be good for posterity’s sake and because Jeff always gave such insightful posts each Session.  We hope to see Jeff’s impressive catalog of acoustic rock songs here on the Laptop Sessions cover songs and original music blog again in the future.  But, for now, please make sure to check-out hundreds of other acoustic cover songs from all of your favorite bands here on the Laptop Sessions music blog!

“Saving Grace” (Tom Petty Cover)

Originally posted 2008-05-17 21:28:24. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jeff Copperthite:

It has been a great week here at laptopsessions.com’s Track 1 week. I had the privilege of opening it up with a U2 video that many have not found due to uploading difficulties. Thankfully, Chris & Jim have posted four awesome album openers during the week, and my U2 video is finally getting some more views.

Now I get to close out Track 1 week with what is probably going to be one of my favorite performances. I am going into the library of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers and performing “Saving Grace” from their most recent album “Highway Companion”. I love the bluesy guitar riff and Tom Petty’s lyrical style. We also have this in the live library for The Laptop Sessions Live tour. We did play it at Testa’s back on April 12.

Speaking of the tour, we were on fire last night with our most recent live show at George’s II. There will be audio and pictures to come from that in the near future. If you’re a friend of mine on Facebook, though, you can see 5 images from the show right now.

I want to point out that I used to think/was taught that the instrumental riff went E-B-A-G, but upon closer listening to the song (oh, about 22 times), I figured out it actually is E-Bb-A-G, but the B chord going into the last verse is the correct chord.

This concludes track 1 week. We hope you enjoy it and in 2 weeks we get to break out another special week for you. Thank you again for being a regular visitor of laptopsessions.com!

Come on back tomorrow for another great session by Jim Fusco himself!

Editor’s Note: Unfortunately, Jeff’s acoustic cover song music videos are no longer on YouTube, but we decided to keep his cover song blog posts up.  We figured these music blog entries would be good for posterity’s sake and because Jeff always gave such insightful posts each Session.  We hope to see Jeff’s impressive catalog of acoustic rock songs here on the Laptop Sessions cover songs and origianal music blog again in the future.  But, for now, please make sure to check-out hundreds of other acoustic cover songs from all of your favorite bands here on the Laptop Sessions music blog!

Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers’ “Mojo” (2010) – The Weekend Review

Originally posted 2010-07-25 22:45:16. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Chris Moore:

RATING:  4 / 5 stars (with “Candy” & “Takin’ My Time”);  4.5 / 5 stars (without)

There is simply no mistaking a Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers song.

When you hear a single like “Refugee” or “Free Fallin'” on the radio, or in shuffle mode, or in a fast food restaurant, or wherever you may be, the band is recognizable.  Even if something more obscure comes on, say a recent track like “You and Me,” there is no need to call up your Shazam app; there is no mistaking Petty’s distinct nasal twang or Mike Campbell’s hook-laced, jangly guitars.  At worst, they sound like a Byrds cover band fronted by a Bob Dylan impersonator.

At best — and, most often — they are one of the greatest American rock bands of all time.

What does all this have to do with Mojo?

Simply put, Mojo represents a purposeful breakdown (pun intended) of the Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers formula.  This record finds the band more concerned with experimentation via these blues influenced performances, and as such, the individual members of the band, more than on any other release, serve integral roles in the instrumental soundscapes.  Even on “U.S. 41,” perhaps the most stripped down of tracks, each band member has an interesting, shifting role as the song unfolds.  Campbell’s Kay Jimmy Reed Model guitar joins forces with Scott Thurston’s harmonica to rip schizophrenically through the rhythm section.  Benmont Tench switches temporarily to his Tremolo Steinway, relegating himself largely to the background and yet playing a key role in advancing the serious undertones of the words.

Here, as on all the tracks, Petty’s lead vocal is an instrument unto itself, alternating between creaking and crooning where appropriate.

Later, Campbell’s lead guitar on the standout “Running Man’s Bible” acts more as a backup vocal, answering each of Petty’s lines with a lick here, a riff there.  This is one of their best duets, and their energy on the choruses calls to mind the fact that this pair has been on the proverbial road for what is rapidly approaching four decades.

When I read in one article that Mojo was being recorded with a jam band mentality, I faltered in my enthusiasm.  When another article name-dropped the Allman brothers, I outright grimaced.  The Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers I love have always, regardless of what phase they were in, stood for purposeful rock music.  What I mean by this is that they have consistently eschewed the instrumental self-indulgence that regularly pushes tracks by bands like the Allman brothers into the double digit minute range.  The songs on their debut self-titled release rarely cracked the three minute mark; on the first half, only one track did: “The Wild One, Forever,” clocking in at a whopping 3:01.

In short, I feared that looming self-indulgence, a bug that has bitten many a great band.

Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers' "Mojo" (2010)

Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers' "Mojo" (2010)

Instead of a collection of lengthy, live band jams, Mojo instead turned out to be a cohesive trek through a myriad of American milieu.  In many ways, this new record has more to do with their first two records than their most recent ones.  This is not at all to say that they’ve regressed to the simpler arrangements of You’re Gonna Get It! that earned them initial success; this is less a return than a romp through stomping grounds as a more mature, honed group of artists.

Certainly, even the most upbeat tracks on Mojo lack that in-your-face, eager-to-impress youthful energy that characterized their early songs, numbers like “When the Time Comes,” “Listen to Her Heart,” and “American Girl.”

Yet, at the same time, those early tracks lacked the electric mayhem of “Good Enough,” the sinister sneers and downbeats of songs like “I Should Have Known It,” and the beautiful nuances of tracks such as “The Trip to Pirate’s Cove.”

The two songs that leave me aweless are “Candy” and “Takin’ My Time,” the former a snoozer of a blues standard and the latter a lyrically boring, tiring exercise in marching across the speakers.  Each exceeds four minutes in length, and my patience in less than half that.  (Now, the iTunes bonus track “Little Girl Blues,” that’s a song I can get behind, perhaps even as an addition to the album proper.)

Nix these two tracks and this becomes a tightly sequenced thirteen track album.

Despite stretching out instrumentally, many tracks hint at riffs in all the right places, as if to remind the listener that this format is a conscious decision, as opposed to a lack of ability to write songs like they once did.  The lyrics certainly don’t suffer in this venture, “The Trip to Pirate’s Cove” being one of the best ballads the band has ever released and “Good Enough” being one of the best vignettes in their catalog, saying so little yet so much.

Thematically, Mojo is a loose but thoughtfully assembled exploration of American society, particularly the ethics and mores that have shaped our nation over the past hundred years.  The concept is not nearly as clearly defined as on The Last DJ, but it is present all the same: in the “mouths to feed” and preferred isolation of “Don’t Pull Me Over,” the “boss man” and the “wages” and the “food on the table” in “U.S. 41”, and, of course, the sin, glory, and freedom in “First Flash of Freedom.”

“Jefferson Jericho Blues” places us at the precipice, in the mind of a man who knows what is right yet “just can’t let go” of what feels better.  This conflict recurs in “High in the Morning,” with a bottle that belongs to the devil and a woman who belongs to the captain.  If these songs can’t be applied as metaphors for individuals in our society, as well as our nation as a whole, then what can?

In these and so many other ways, Mojo is a success.  It may not be comprised of the tightly packaged pop gems we’ve come to expect of the band, but it is still very much a Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers album, and, after eight long years, a strong addition to their considerable catalog.

“Rhino Skin” (Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers Cover)

Originally posted 2012-07-11 21:52:45. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Chris Moore:

Hello and welcome to another all-new Laptop Session! Today is a special treat for me, as I’ve finally summoned up the courage to sing one of my favorite Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers songs. Is it a classic like “Free Fallin'”? Well, maybe not. Is it a great album cut like “A Woman in Love (It’s Not Me)”? Um, no, but I’ll probably cover that one in the future.

This is my version of “Rhino Skin” off of the 1999 Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers album Echo. I’ve covered the title track previously (click here to listen!), and I had so much fun doing it (and such a response — it’s my #3 most viewed video!!) that I had to record another one from this album.

As a final note, I’m eagerly awaiting the April 29th release of Mudcrutch, the self-titled debut from Tom Petty’s recently-reformed high school band. I can’t wait!!

For now, though, I’ll look forward to the more instant gratification of the “session-a-day” project at www.LaptopSessions.com … Be sure to check back tomorrow for a brand new video from Jeff!

See you next session!