Welcome to the Laptop Sessions for Tuesday! Today, I bring you yet another new band to the Sessions. Well, it’s not a “new” band by any means, but we’ve haven’t done them before: The Temptations!
This song is also in contention for the longest song title award. I’ve always liked this song, but for some reason it moved its way quickly up my list when I thought of it one night and learned how to play it.
Temptations songs are a bit harder to do, like the Beach Boys, because of their usual harmonies, but it’s fun to take a song that has so much more production and make it into a solo performance. That, in my opinion, is what makes the Laptop Sessions so unique.
Over the next few weeks, it’s going to be my focus to do as many new bands as possible. I still have a couple of songs in the reserves to get to first, but look for a wide array of new artists to come!
Hello and welcome to not only a brand-new Laptop Session, but the introduction of a new artist to our list of covers! Today, I’m playing “Waltz #2 (XO)” from Elliott Smith’s XO album. I actually just realized a couple weeks ago that he did indeed have an album between my two favorites from him — Either/Or and Figure 8 — and I had to get it. I’ve been listening to it ever since, and it feels kind of like a new album to me, considering that I thought I had heard all of his studio material.
Like I said, I’ve been listening to the album for over a week, and even though I still have several Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash “Laptop Sessions” videos, I just had to sit down and record this one (thus, the late-night, down-to-the-wire posting).
I hope you enjoy it; I certainly enjoyed learning it and playing it! Don’t forget to check out an all-new session from Jeff tomorrow, right here at http://LaptopSessions.com !
I’m pretty excited today, as I give you a new band to the Laptop Sessions: America!
I got into this band because of today’s cover song, Sister Golden Hair. I used to hear it on the radio many times growing up and decided that it would be perfect for a cover song. I’ve now seen the band America in concert at least ten times, meeting them and getting their autographs on many occasions. They’re great guys and that only helped make them one of my favorite bands.
I love their album “Homecoming” and will be doing most of the songs off it in the future. But, for now, I give you the tune that started it all for me. Once I found out that this song was from the same guys that did “Horse With No Name”, I had to get the “Best Of” CD. After that, I scoured CT (this was before eBay was huge) for any America CDs I could find. I even bought some of the LPs. The band was surprised to see such a young guy asking to get those signed. My gravitation towards America was probably due to the fact that I could tell they were influenced by the Beach Boys- their harmonies and melodic songs drew me in. And, they put a classic rock spin on things- kind of like Crosby, Stills, and Nash, but even more mellow.
“Sister Golden Hair” is really one of my favorite songs. The chorus is so catchy, but Gerry Beckley (the singer and songwriter for this song) didn’t stop there- he began the song with a great acoustic guitar part and some really cool slide guitar. One of the reasons why the original recording of “Sister Golden Hair” sounds so good is because Beatles producer George Martin actually produced it! Yes, that’s right- he even produced a few other albums for America in the mid 70s. The first song he produced for them was the big hit “Tin Man”.
America had two #1 Billboard hits- “A Horse With No Name” and “Sister Golden Hair”. It’s a shame they didn’t have a third, because then each member would’ve had their shot at having a Number One Hit. “A Horse With No Name” was written by Dewey Bunnell, but original member Dan Peek (left in the late 70s, but is now deceased) never got a song up to Number One. He did have a popular song, though, in “Lonely People”, which is instantly recognizable. So, I guess all of the band members had their chances to shine.
Like many of my acoustic cover song videos, I’m using my nylon string guitar here. Sure, it doesn’t sound exactly like the original, but I thought it allowed me to sing over the guitar without shouting. On the verses, I found that I needed a softer sounding guitar because the tone is so “conversational” and not soaring above the music (like a Beach Boys song would be, for instance).
I hope you all enjoy this America acoustic cover song- truly one of my favorites. Stay tuned for more cover song music videos from the musicians here at the Laptop Sessions video blog!