“Surrender To Me” (McGuinn, Clark, & Hillman Cover)

Originally posted 2008-08-25 15:18:25. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco:

Welcome to your Monday, Monday edition of the Laptop Sessions with me, Jim Fusco!

If you take a look at the last few posts, you’ll notice all the work I’ve been doing over the past 24 hours.  I’ve managed to mix, master, and put online three concerts worth of material.  The last one has 35 songs!  Then, I finally posted my photos from our TNA Wrestling show back in May.  Finally, I went through and backed-up literally 100 gb of data that was clogging up my laptop’s harddrive.  I put all of it on DVDs, which meant that I needed to complete everything before I backed it up and deleted it from my hard drive.

This is the first time in about nine months that the coffee table is clear of five spindles of DVDs.

Today, I bring you a song that Chris, Becky, and I have been playing since the beginning.  Back in late high school, I fell in love with the music of Roger McGuinn, Gene Clark, and Chris Hillman.  I mean, I was already a fan of the Byrds, but we had recentely gotten this album called “McGuinn, Clark, and Hillman”.  It was recorded in the mid-seventies, long after the original Byrds broke up and reformed.

A few tracks on this album, including the first track (which Jeff did as a Laptop Session- Click HERE to view it!) meant a lot to me at the time.  I was with my first girlfriend (and so proud that I had a CD player in the car- my 1990 Camaro) and the way we got together was a little weird.  We kinda had a thing going a year or so earlier, but then something happened to make us not talk for a long time.  I’m being vague not because I want to be, but because I honestly don’t remember.  That’s why I wrote in a journal every single day, I guess.  I’ll have to go back and read up on it.  Anyway, when we finally made it happen, I just thought the song “Long Long Time” was perfect for it.  I hope you’ll listen closely to the words in Jeff’s version and you’ll see what I mean.

“Surrender To Me” is a great song for a couple of reasons- mostly because of McGuinn’s incredible guitar work.  I actually based our live version half on the album version and half on the acoustic demo with Hillman and McGuinn.  Having Chris there to play the rhythm guitar (back when we first started playing live, he had a ton of trouble doing harmony parts while playing), Becky singing with me, and me playing a guitar solo I could actually handle, this was a prime choice.  I just wish more people had heard of it.  But, that’s okay- most people probably think it’s an original, which is major points for me!

Actually, this song is a cover itself.  Neither McGuinn, Clark, or Hillman wrote this tune.  But I still think it’s a great one and a standout track on the album.  Coming up on my next Session starts my suite of videos recorded in the great outdoors.  These videos are part of what the Laptop Sessions is all about, coupled with those Jeff did while on vacation- they’re LAPTOP Sessions!  We can record them anywhere and bring them to you from whereever you may be.  Enjoy today’s Session and make sure to come back tomorrow for Chris’ video, Wednesday for Jeff’s Original Wednesday (which I hope he comes through and plays us his new song), and to download all the new concerts!



“The Girl With No Name” (Byrds Cover)

Originally posted 2008-04-24 13:42:11. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco:

Okay, really obscure territory here on the music blog.

When my family was getting into the music of the Byrds back in 2000, we really went head-first and listened to every album they made throughout the 60s. Some were better than others because you could tell they were doing a lot of growing up, musically. Plus, many of their later-60s songs were very drug-tinged.

After Gene Clark left the band in late ’65 or early ’66, the band came out with one of their worst efforts, “5D”. I still liked most of the songs, but the playing was sloppy and they were high as a kite.

When we got to the superb “Younger Than Yesterday” LP (on Jim Fusco’s list of “Albums You Should Listen To”), I instantly gravitated to the songs of young Chris Hillman, bassist for the band. He is an amazing bass player, mostly because he was an accomplished mandolin and guitar player, so he took his soloing skills over to the bass for the Byrds.

I love his voice- it’s just so natural. There’s no weird accent. He doesn’t say the words in an odd way. He just sounds good, you know?  His voice is nice and clear and I was happy that he was getting a chance to write more music for the Byrds.  And, like in most bands, the songwriter usually sings his own original songs, so I was happier the more we listened to Byrds songs.

He wrote some of my absolute favorites: “Thoughts and Words”, “Have You Seen Her Face”, and “Time Between”, just to name a few. I plan on doing all of them in the future.

But for now, I give you this song off of “Younger Than Yesterday”, “The Girl With No Name”. It was a lot of fun to play and is a very short song. It’s funny that such a sweet sounding song was probably still influenced by drugs.  I’m just guessing here, but “The girl who had no name” could mean a couple things: For starters, maybe this lady lived on one of those hippie communes where they said, “Hey man, why do I need to be labeled with a name?  Can’t I just BE?”  That’s a possibility.  The other possibility, to me, could be that Hillman just didn’t bother asking for a name.  Whether he was under the influence of something that impaired his judgement at the time is something only he can attest to.

I think the Byrds are a great band to do acoustic cover song versions of.  Their songs had an interesting style.  You could almost tell that they wrote their original songs on acoustic guitar and then found a way to translate them into the psychedelic sound of the time.  “The Girl With No Name” is pretty straight-forward, so my acoustic version here for the music blog stays true to the original.  That’s another reason why I love doing the Laptop Sessions video blog.  In addition to reimagining popular songs acoustically, I like taking obscure songs and playing them for the world.  They’re great songs and they deserve some fresh attention.

I’m gearing up for next week’s big “#1 Week”, in which (other than Original Wednesday) we’ll be playing only cover songs that hit Number One on the Billboard charts.  Stay tuned for other great specialty weeks of cover song music videos coming soon, too!