“Handle With Care” (Traveling Wilburys Cover)

Originally posted 2012-09-26 14:26:25. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco:

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!

To hear MoU’s original music, visit http://jimfusco.com/albums.html. To hear my original music, visit http://jimfusco.com.

Original Wednesday: “Only A Dream” – an MoU Original Acoustic Rock Song

Originally posted 2009-01-21 22:19:22. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco:

For my first trick…

Welcome to my first Original Wednesday original acoustic song music video for the year 2009!  It’s Jim Fusco here with a great song that we chose to kick-off our (and by “our”, I mean the band Masters of the Universe, or MoU) second album, “Homestead’s Revenge”.  The song is “Only A Dream” and it’s a chorus I wrote the tune to, but never did anything else with.

I remember the day very vividly.  It was one of our band songwriting sessions and I remember finally fleshing-out the chorus with the help of Chris, Mike,  Becky, and Cliff.  Then, I ran over to the piano and started to work out chord progressions for the verses.  I came up with the very interesting Em7 to Bm chord progression and I really love the tune that goes along with it.  I remember sitting there working and hearing Becky and Chris deciding on words to go into the chorus of the song.

I took my ideas over to the rest of the band and we worked out the words.  We came up with this image of a man in a jail cell.  The conversation went something like this: “How about a man locked in a jail cell that’s dreaming about getting out?”  “Oh yeah- like he’s locked in there!” “Okay, let’s see- ‘Locked in solitary confinement…'”  “No, that doesn’t work with the tune…” “Locked in solidarity…” “That doesn’t make sense, though.” “Oh, but it does!  The guy is locked up AND he’s all alone!” “Perfect!”

And that’s how the writing session went- we scrutinized everything but were able to paint a very realistic image of the idea we were getting across.  Why don’t you just listen and find out what that message is?

I also remember Mike returning from the back room, playing his middle-8.  I love that part of the song and it leads right back into the chorus very well.  He did that on “These Streets” from the same album.  The lyrics are great on the middle-8 to “These Streets”- we were thinking about that kind of great fast-paced life you think you have in high school  and threw in, “Live like it’s 1999,” because I was a freshman/sophomore in 1999.

Also, I was very excited when we all did the vocals.  On the original (which you can hear by going to MoU’s Official Website), you’ll hear double-tracked vocals from each of the five members of the band on the choruses and backgrounds, PLUS the lead vocals.

Some fun facts: Chris, Cliff, Mike, and I recorded our vocals together and we dubbed Becky’s much softer voice later on two other tracks so I could handle it better in the mix.  It isn’t easy blending a female voice into four other male voices.  But, my voice must not be too far off from a female’s voice, which made it easier to mix.  Why do I say that?  Well, on the middle-8, you’ll hear the backing vocals come in.  I love that part.  Well, on that section, Becky doesn’t sing- it’s just Mike’s lead, then Mike, Chris, Cliff, and I on backing vocals.  I sang the high part (doing my best Becky impression) because we seamlessly wove the backing vocals around Mike’s lead, allowing us to use only four other backing vocal harmony parts.  I remember doing those backing vocals that night with the boys and we were all so incredibly excited.  After we finished each good take, we’d get so stoked about it.  The greatest backing vocals I think I’ve ever heard are during the second half of the second verse.  The way that some of the vocals move around and some stay the same…it’s really a stroke of genius on my part! :-)  Want to hear just the vocals-only section?  Click HERE and you’ll go to the Albums page on the MoU website.  The clip of only the vocals from that section will play in the background.  Click around to the other pages on the site and you’ll hear more rare vocals-only clips from the album!

Well, I hope you enjoy this great original song.  It was truly a collaborative effort- a great, catchy song- that was the perfect album-starter.  Until next Tuesday, I hope you have a great week.  Make sure to come back tomorrow for your Jeff Copperthite Thumpin’ Thursday acoustic cover song music video!



“Sober” (New Music by Indie Music Songwriter Jim Fusco)

Originally posted 2008-04-30 23:02:25. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco:

Welcome to Original Wednesday here on the Laptop Sessions! Tonight, I bring you the first ever video starring Jim, Chris, and Becky for my original song from the new MoU album, “Homestead’s Revenge”.

“Sober” is a song I wrote a couple years ago and has become a live favorite whenever we play it. I wrote it during the recording of the first MoU album, but didn’t get to record it until recently, so it remains a “new” song.

I had Chris and Becky help me out for two reasons- first, the harmonies. Second, the fact that my voice kinda gave out tonight right before I went to record another original song called “The Game”. And, for anyone that’s heard that song before, you know it’s not one to sing with a bad vocal range! I guess that will have to wait three weeks.

I hope you enjoy this edition of Original Wednesday and I hope you’ll come back tomorrow for the continuation of “#1 Week” here at LaptopSessions.com!



“Elf’s Lament” (Barenaked Ladies Christmas cover song)

Originally posted 2007-12-22 01:05:35. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco:

Hello everyone! Continuing with our last couple days of Christmas, we give you “Elf’s Lament”, a great song by Barenaked Ladies. We’ve always been happy with the way our live version came out, so I got the guys together to do a special acoustic version for the Laptop Sessions!  This song was perfect for the band to do because it features vocal parts for three members of the band.  Well, in this version, Mike isn’t sitting behind a large (and loud) drum set, so he got to sing the lead parts with the other three of us.  I’ve always been a fan of songs where two or three members of the band get a chance to sing.  Songs like “Two of Us” by the Beatles and “Walking On Air” by the Moody Blues (off of their amazing 1999 album, Strange Times) are great examples where you can hear all of the band members.  And, my favorite bands are ones where each member gets a chance to shine.

Which brings me to the band that we covered tonight: Barenaked Ladies.  Their Christmas album, “Barenaked for the Holidays’ is awesome.  Four of the five (at the time) members wrote and sang lead vocals on songs throughout the album.  That, to me, is the mark of a truly great band.  You get so much variety in an album and that’s probably why I’m such a big fan of the Moody Blues, the Byrds, the Beatles, and the Beach Boys (after 1967).  “Barenaked for the Holidays” features such classic songs as “Green Christmas” and Steven Page’s “Hanukkah Blessings”.

“Elf’s Lament” was originally done by Ed Robertson, Steven Page, and Michael Bublé.  I’m not a huge fan of Bublé’s voice in this song- it just has an odd sound to it.  And, saying his voice sounds odd next to Steven Page’s voice is really saying something. :-)  So, we stuck Cliff with that part to sing.  I got the Steven Page part.  This song was so much fun to sing.  It was a big hit on our Christmas concert CD and DVD set.  For that show, we performed in front of over 60 people, including the mayor of our hometown of Wallingford, CT.  It was one of the highlights of my musical career.  We just had so much fun playing this song- I wish there were more songs like this that give everyone a chance to shine.  I think everyone else in the band would’ve stayed more interested.  Knowing you have a starring role makes you pay more attention for sure!

To learn more about our music, please visit http://jimfusco.com/albums.html.  You can purchase our Christmas concert on either CD or DVD there.  It’s jam-packed with 30 (yes, 30!) original and cover songs.  I personally think it’s the best Christmas album you can buy for the money.  I hope you enjoy tonight’s Barenaked Ladies cover song and hope you’ll come back for more great Christmas songs from the Laptop Sessions acoustic cover songs music video blog!