“God’s Gonna Cut You Down” (Johnny Cash acoustic folk song)

Originally posted 2009-08-31 22:00:08. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

For Johnny Cash chords & lyrics, CLICK HERE!

By Chris Moore:

As the Mamas and the Papas would say: “Monday, Monday!”

Welcome to the first acoustic cover song music video of a brand new week here at the Laptop Sessions.  Tonight, I’m bringing you my second cover from Johnny Cash’s first posthumous release, American Recordings V: A Hundred Highways.  Yes, that’s right…  I specified “first” posthumous release, because I just read that American VI is scheduled for release later this year.  Apparently, Cash was working on V up until he passed away.  I was under the impression that V was a collection of material that was still unreleased, but that’s more along the lines of what VI will be.  Even so, I am very excited to hear this final collection when it is released.

What brought on this sudden return to Johnny Cash’s recent work, you might ask?  Well, I found the first American Recordings CD on sale at Newbury’s last week and decided to pick it up.  Truly good new albums have been far and few between this summer, with the exception of the Fruit Bats’ The Ruminant Band earlier this month — a very pleasant surprise to say the least!

I’ve been enjoying American Recordings thus far; it clearly displayed a lot of potential, which was explored on the four — and soon to be five — subsequent editions of the series.  The only one I have yet to hear is American Recordings II, which includes the classic “I’ve Been Everywhere,” which Jim worked into my version of “Folsom Prison Blues” way back when for my second Laptop Session cover song video ever.

The song I chose for tonight is “God’s Gonna Cut You Down,” one of my favorites from American Recordings V.  It is a traditional song that Cash truly made his own, a song that has the ability to be simultaneously catchy/rockin’, and yet haunting/foreboding.  I had a fun time playing and practicing it the past few days, and I hope you’ll enjoy watching it.  As I mentioned earlier, this is the second song I’ve covered from this album, if you count Johnny Cash’s cover of Gordon Lightfoot’s “If You Could Read My Mind,” one of the most beautiful songs ever written.

In other music news, I spent some time tonight reading about R.E.M.’s forthcoming double-CD live album that will include 39 tracks culled from their 2007 shows at the Olympia.  To be more specific, they played five shows in a row as they tried out new material for their 2008 album Accelerate.  In addition, they also played their hits and deep tracks.  I’ve wanted to hear these performances since I heard their new album, and I’m truly thrilled to hear this concert when it comes out in a couple months.  If you’re an R.E.M. fan, too, you should check out the videos for the two songs — the excellent “Living Well is the Best Revenge,” for which I recorded a Laptop Session, and Automatic for the People opening track “Drive — that have debuted on RollingStone.com.

And if you’re someone who has lost interest in Michael Stipe and company since they went through what can only be called a boring streak recently, then you need to give Accelerate a shot.  You won’t be disappointed.

I’ll leave you with one final, music-related note.  I added to Paste Magazine‘s trending topic on Twitter.com about the best albums of the 00’s, and shortly thereafter learned that I am the only person in the universe to have ever tweeted about the Wallflowers’ Red Letter Days, much less mention the album as one of the best during the decade.

I know; it’s quite the distinction…

See you next session!

“Cowgirl in the Sand” (Neil Young & the Byrds Cover)

Originally posted 2008-04-15 14:26:57. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco:

Thanks for stopping by for your Tuesday edition of the Laptop Sessions acoustic cover songs music video blog!

Today, I bring you a song written by Neil Young, “Cowgirl in the Sand”. Not only is this song one of his most famous, but it’s also generally well-known among country-rock music fans.

The version I’m doing is derivative of the version the Byrds did on their reunion album from 1975. That album isn’t wonderful by any means, but Gene Clark’s contributions are, of course, superb. He sings a great lead on this song, too.  Gene Clark just had a great timbre to his voice.  He could sing rock’n’roll music and country/western music with the best of them.  Of course, Gene Clark was a great songwriter, too, both with the Byrds and on his own solo recordings.  While searching around here on the music blog, be sure to click on Gene Clark’s category to see the other cover songs I’ve done written by him.  If you’re not a fan now (or haven’t heard of him), I guarantee his original songs will get your attention.

This is one song that I never planned on doing, but came into my head one night, so I just sat down and did it! I think some people were a bit surprised that I busted this one out at our first live show as a trio the other day.  My favorite aspect of the Byrds’ version of “Cowgirl In The Sand” is the harmonies on the chorus.  I really hope that we can get those harmonies right in future performances, as I think that’s the flare the Byrds added to make the version their own.

Considering how the Byrds first started, it’s a bit surprising that they gravitated over to country rock like they did.  They were initially marketed as a folk group, electrifying Bob Dylan songs like “Chimes of Freedom” and “Mr. Tambourine Man”.  But, the band members of the Byrds, especially Chris Hillman, started out loving folk music in a different way- the classic, down-home country style.  Chris Hillman is actually an accomplished mandolin player, and there is no better country guitarist than Roger McGuinn.  Basically, they just threw an electric bass in Hillman’s hands and a 12-string electric Rickenbacker guitar in McGuinn’s hands, and they had a big hit band.  In later albums, the band members of the Byrds would write original songs that had a country flare to them, including Chris Hillman’s “The Girl With No Name”, which I’ve also done a cover song music video of here on the music blog.

You may also notice the “incredible fluctuating hairdo” of myself- I recorded this song before getting a haircut, as you saw in the “Aware” cover video (of an original song) from last week.

I hope to do more Neil Young songs in the future and I hope this cover song video attracts some new viewers and music lovers to the Laptop Sessions live acoustic music video series!


“I Hung My Head” (Johnny Cash Cover)

Originally posted 2008-03-23 11:55:54. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Chris Moore:

Hello and welcome to this Easter Sunday edition of the Laptop Sessions! Yes, that’s right, during 2008 we’re playing a song a day, even on the holidays…

I thought it would be fitting to play Johnny Cash’s “I Hung My Head” for Easter — it involves death and the idea of moving on to heaven (or hell, depending on how you interpret his lyrics). This is from the same album as his final hit, his cover of Trent Reznor’s “Hurt.” I’ll be recording that one in the future, as well.

On a side note, I should reach my 100th subscriber by my next session on Wednesday, and I’ll be giving him/her a $10 coupon to the Fusco-Moore Store, as promised! To think that, at the beginning of February, I only had 10 subscribers and I wasn’t planning on 50 until the end of the year…

I hope you enjoy this video, and I hope you’ll comment or rate it!


“The Last Ride” (The Pretenders Cover)

Originally posted 2008-10-25 23:45:53. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Chris Moore:

Hello and welcome to your Saturday session of the best acoustic rock cover song blog on the web today!  This is actually a combination of my favorite type of post (a brand-new song) and Jim’s favorite type of post (a new artist to the music blog)…  The Pretenders’ “The Last Ride.”  This is a brand-new song from their 2008 album Break Up The Concrete.

I’m not really a big Pretenders fan, but I’m on this big new albums kick for 2008, so I figured I would try out their new album this year.  It’s called Break Up The Concrete and it’s actually pretty good — I especially liked the “First Edition” packaging, which included a piece of paper with the title of the album and name of the band on it.  But it wasn’t just a piece of paper to highlight the specifics; it has instructions on it to dampen it with water, plant it in the ground, and wait for it to grow a plant.  I like this as a piece of the theme of the album — to break up the concrete could include planting new and natural things that, when they grow, break through the man-made pavement. In fact, the back of the album is a picture of a flower.  Most artists include bonus tracks or music videos, but a seed patch… that’s original!

I’ve only heard this song about three or four times, but I decided that this was the one for me to record from this new Pretenders album.  To be honest, I don’t really know any Pretenders songs, but I’ve definitely heard of them.  I think I have a song of theirs on one of my “80s greatest hits” albums.  Let me go check…

And I’m back — I knew I’d heard of them.  The Pretenders had a hit with “Back on the Chain Gang” in the early 1980s.  I first heard this song when I was a senior in high school, trying to learn all the big periods of American pop music.  There was always something about Chrissie Hynde’s voice that I really liked.

Now, is Break Up The Concrete the best album of the year?  No.  But I’ve found it really interesting adding them to my collection this year.  They’ve got an upbeat sound and, if that wasn’t enough, they’ve got my favorite drummer of all time… also known as the fifth Traveling Wilbury… Jim Keltner!  I’m on my way now to do some research on the Pretenders, but their drummer on the new album is indeed Keltner, a drummer who’s not only played with the Wilburys, but has also been a session drummer for such rock acts as Bob Dylan.

As you’re watching the video, you might notice that there’s a blue flash every so often.  That’s the menu of “Mission Impossible III,” which I rented tonight, thanks to the Jimmy Fund promotion at Burger King.  I donated money to the fund and got a scratch off ticket that ended up being a free rental at Blockbuster video.  So a special thanks goes out to Blockbuster — whose ever-increasing rental fees have discouraged me from renting recently — for participating in this worthy cause.  I absolutely loved the first “Mission Impossible” and found the second to be pedestrian at best.  Now, I’m half way through the third installment and loving it.  I had to stop it at 1:03:51, as it’s good enough to be very distracting to me as I type this most recent post on the best acoustic cover song music blog in the universe… the Laptop Sessions!  It was a really cool feeling, coming home tonight and knowing I had to record a session.  I translated and posted the chords to “The Last Ride” earlier this afternoon, and I was really excited to be one of the first people in the world to record a cover of a song from the new album.

What a cool project this session-a-day is…  I realize it’s really annoying and tedious at times.  But, at the end of 2008, Jim, Jeff, and I will have posted 366 (leap year!) videos this year.  What other musicians are as ambitious?  If you haven’t already, you need to check out Jeff’s album at the Fusco-Moore Store (one of the best of the year — and, trust me, I can judge this, as I’ve bought something like 20 new albums this year) and stay tuned for Jim’s best album yet, to be released some time soon; probably early 2009…

Well, that’s it for now.  The last thing I want to mention is how much I’ve been into Wilco and the Counting Crows recently.  They’re both great 90s bands, and I’ll certainly be posting acoustic cover songs from them soon.  But, for now, the focus is on new additions to the blog — I hope you enjoy the first Pretenders song on this music blog — come back tomorrow and the next day for Jeff and Jim.  I’ll see you again on Tuesday…

See you next session!