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!
Okay, better late than never! I just forgot to post this video and even though I kept reminding myself, I’ve been very burned-out lately, so I just couldn’t go through all the motions. Thankfully I recorded this video a few weeks ago when I was in slightly better spirits. Not that anything is particularly wrong- I just feel a tad bit overworked, in general. But, that feeling comes and goes. I hope that, after a day finishing up yard work and such outside on a beautiful day, that we’re entering a calmer time soon.
I tried making plans today to hang out with 0ne of my best friends, but when I looked at my calendar, it was all booked up every weekend until Thanksgiving. It’s all fun stuff- concerts, parties, get-togethers at our house- but, it was a pretty sad feeling to say to him, “Sorry, man, I’m booked.” It’s tough juggling a new marriage, new house, a website, three jobs, and the massive amount of projects and ambitions I have. When all these things are working at full-tilt, I feel great- like I can rule the world. But then, I slowly start to realize that I cannot rule the world and then everything gets overwhelming. So, it stinks for a few days and then I’m back to sorting things out again.
Sorry for the long-winded explanation, but I felt it necessary considering that I take this Laptop Sessions project very seriously and don’t want it to become a “whenever I get the chance” thing. I don’t work that way- when someone says, “I’ll get to it when I get a chance,” they really mean that it’s never going to get done. And for those that are currently enjoying the last Masters of the Universe album, “Homestead’s Revenge,” well then, you’re probably happy that I don’t for people to finish things “whenever they get a chance”.
Onto tonight’s video:
“I Dreamed Last Night” by Blue Jays is simply one of the greatest songs I’ve ever heard. Other than a guitar solo and harmonies (two things I love, but aren’t necessary in this song), this is a PERFECT song. If you haven’t heard the original, do yourself a favor and download it. This is a great story for me because of the way I remembered this song:
I was in Northampton, MA for a day trip and went into this small record store. In the top section above the rest of the albums, they had a Moody Blues Starter Pack. There were four records for eight bucks and they were in amazing condition. In fact, the copy of “Long Distance Voyager” (one of my all-time favorite albums) was never played. To this day, I don’t have the heart to play it- it’s over 30 years old now and is brand new! Anyway, inside the set was a copy of “Blue Jays”, which was a one-off album for Justin Hayward and John Lodge of the Moody Blues. There’s a cool story behind that album, too:
Justin Hayward and Mike Pinder of the Moody Blues decided to work on a project together after the Moodies broke up after the “Seventh Sojourn” album. But, Mike Pinder (like Gene Clark of the Byrds) is a notorious homebody and backed out of the project after a while. So, Justin Hayward called in John Lodge to collaborate and to add a few of his own songs. The album was titled “Blue Jays” because they’re the two members of the Moody Blues with names that start with “J”- get it? Blue-J’s?
Well, I fired-up the turntable and put the album on. I instantly loved it. Here I had a brand-new (to me) “Moody Blues” album! I knew all the rest of their albums, but we never got this one on CD, so I never heard it growing-up. I knew “Remember Me, My Friend” from a Moody Blues compilation I got recently and loved that song. So I knew I’d love the rest of the album. There’s something about the sound on “Blue Jays”- it’s very “classic rock” sounding with great guitars and a wonderfully full production. The songs themselves, for the most part, are some of the best Hayward ever did. Lodge’s songs were good, too, but I liked some of his earlier work, including “I’m Just a Singer (In a Rock’n’Roll Band)” and “Ride My See-saw”.
Then, as I was listening to the album, “I Dreamed Last Night” crackled onto my speakers. I instantly remembered it. It must’ve been on a compilation set my father played a lot. My brother remembered the song, too. And when I heard it, I instantly ran over and played it again. I called my wife upstairs and embarrassingly sang it to her at the top of my lungs. I couldn’t stop talking about it for days- this song has one of the best tunes I’ve ever heard. It has slow parts and fast parts. It’s sad and yet triumphant. In a word, it’s amazing.
So, when it came time to do the new season of the Laptop Sessions, this was near the top of the list. Even though I don’t play the song in the same guitar tuning as Justin Hayward does, it’s still in the same key and I think it gets the sentiment across very well. I hope you’ll love this song as much as I did and will check out this album- it’s a lost gem if I’ve ever found one.
Have a great one and I’ll be back on time for my video on Thursday, October 28th. Enjoy tonight’s cover song acoustic version of “I Dreamed Last Night” by Blue Jays!
Welcome to the Laptop Sessions’ Original Wednesday. I’m guessing some people will be new to the Laptop Sessions because of this original song video, and we welcome you aboard!
This song, a pun on the “Red, White, and Blue”, is my first and only “protest” type of song.
The song was written in early 2002 after 9/11 about the hypocritical actions of Americans automatically becoming “patriotic” as soon as a disaster hit. This original song is just me wondering why people weren’t just ALWAYS patriotic!
This song is still as relevant today, six years later, as it was when I wrote it. I even talk about Easter in the song (it was that time of year), and I thought this would be the perfect week to bust it out again.
Basically, I’m giving the point of view of an 18 year old kid (at the time) from Connecticut because all the hardship and fear seemed so distant from my everyday life at the time.
To say this song is still relevant today shows how stagnant the country’s been lately. We still are fighting a never-ending war on terror and the patriotism of the country is waning once again.
Oh, and the verse about California: it’s in reference to when they didn’t have the Red-Carpet festivities for a big award show that year. I didn’t think that was helping anyone. Letting the terrorists know we’re scared? That’ll really help…
“The Red, White, and Blues” is from my double-album set, “That’s All…” that I released in 2003. I say “double album” in a different way than you would normally think of it. For instance, the Beatles came out with a double album with their “White Album” (simply titled, “The Beatles”) in 1968. That album consisted of over 20 original songs and couldn’t fit on just one vinyl record. For “That’s All…”, it’s a bit different. You see, I had just gotten a guitar- my first real acoustic guitar, an Ibanez Artcore. I instantly wanted to play everything on the acoustic guitar and quickly went to playing folk songs. I even came up with a bunch of my own. I thought a blues song like “The Red, White, and Blues” would be a perfect way to start off an album of folk songs.
But, I also had a bunch of original songs that I’d written in my normal rock’n’roll style, too. So, I decided to record everything at once and split up the whole project into two original albums: “That’s All Folks”, which featured all of the folk songs I’d written, and “That’s All Jim” that featured all of my songwriting efforts in my normal style. I put both albums on one CD, but each album had it’s own cover. Plus, the combo-pack of both albums called “That’s All…” had it’s unique album cover!