Hello and welcome to your weekend edition of the best video blog in the world! And we’re humble, too!
Seriously, though, we’ve really been putting a lot of effort into this acoustic cover song music blog — practicing and recording acoustic rock covers, writing detailed and interesting blog posts and articles, adding photos to our posts, and so much more. Next year, after the “session-a-day” project is completed, we have so many ideas for expansion that you’ll just have to check back regularly to experience them all. I can’t say too much for now, but you’ll have to trust me that music fans and even fans of other things will not be disappointed!
And now, to be anything but serious, I bring you Loudon Wainwright III’s most famous song, “Dead Skunk.” My father used to play this for me from a seventies acoustic rock tape that he had. It was always a lot of fun, and I still remember not quite believing that “Dead Skunk” was a real song when he sang the chorus to me before I had heard the studio version.
I’ve heard that Wainwright is somewhat bitter about the fact that this song found so much success — and I can’t say I really blame him; it’s quite the legacy! But this is not the only case of this; just think of the fact that Warren Zevon, with his amazing range of work, will probably only be remembered for “Werewolves of London.” Still, success is success.
Okay, that’s it for now, but make sure to hurry back tomorrow (as Zevon would sing, “Hurry home early, hurry on home…”) — if you’ve made Laptop Sessions your home, then Jeff Copperthite won’t disappoint with his latest music video tomorrow…
Welcome to an all-new season of the Laptop Sessions with Jim Fusco! This time around, I’m bringing you a mix of cover songs and a selection of original music. There will be original songs from my past albums, as well as my upcoming album, “Those Around Us”. The whole album is mixed and pre-mastered…at least my first crack at it. After that, I need to secure the album cover (hopefully another painting like “Halfway There”) and get the album professionally mastered. It’s very exciting and I can’t help but draw parallels to the creativity and experimental style that I used on my second album, “My Other Half”. If you haven’t heard “My Other Half”, you can listen to the whole album on my website for free! Just click here to listen.
“Those Around Us” is not really a concept album like “My Other Half”. With “My Other Half”, I wrote the album around the concept. With “Those Around Us”, I just realized that I wasn’t writing about me, for a change. I was writing about the people around me- the people I know and care about- and my interactions and feelings about them. I’m convinced that this is my best effort yet- the best production value, songwriting quality, lyrics, vocals, and most of all- musicianship. Plus, my brother Mike plays the drums on a few tracks, just like the old days.
I will try to update the Laptop Sessions acoustic cover songs music video blog as often as I can with new updates, but for the most part, I just update my official Twitter account @jimfuscomusic. Remember, if you follow me on Twitter, I’ll send you a link where you can download five of my songs for free!
One more thing- you’ll notice the new “set” for my acoustic cover song music videos. Since my new home studio is complete, I wanted to record my videos in front of my guitar collecxion, which proudly hangs on the wall behind me.
Onto tonight’s video- the first video this season!
Grateful Dead (or “The Grateful Dead”, as most people call them) have really become one of my mainstay bands. I look forward to getting the rest of their studio stuff. I know it’s weird- most Dead Heads love the band for their versatility on stage over thousands of concerts and bootlegs. But, my love for the band started after getting a Best Of CD with all of their studio tracks. They combine my favorite elements of a band- harmonies, guitar solos, and most of all: multiple songwriting band members! I’m so happy my friend Bill turned me on to Grateful Dead a couple years ago. I’m so excited to have another band I can explore.
Tonight’s video, “Ripple”, was written by Jerry Garcia (and a lyricist, as you can tell these aren’t the poetic words of Jerry…). I’ve always liked this song, though it seemed out of place as the last track on that Best Of CD I have. I guess this song was a mild hit (they never really had any big chart hits- they must’ve played these songs on early FM radio, where the Moody Blues and ELO would dominate the airwaves). In fact, my father, who always has strong opinions of music, says this is his favorite Grateful Dead song, and I can see why.
It’s a nice melody and the lyrics instantly take you to the shores of a southern US river- I can see myself sitting on a rock with my Martin, gently playing this song. I thought of doing this video when I heard it again at my sister-in-law’s wedding a couple weekends ago. Both my wife and I were part of the wedding, as my (now) brother-in-law and I have become very good friends over the past few years. Instantly, I thought doing “Ripple” would be a great tribute video to do for their new marriage and I hope I did the song (and their marriage, for that matter) justice.
I hope you enjoy tonight’s video, too! I’ll be back every other Thursday for at least the next three or four months, as I’m really dedicated to making new music online while finishing my album. I want everyone to listen to “Those Around Us” and (if the ambition carries me) I’ll stop at nothing to make that happen. I’d love to hear your opinion of this song, my performance, and what your favorite Grateful Dead songs are in the comments section or on YouTube. Thanks to all for your support as I begin my fifth year of the Laptop Sessions!
The Dead Weather’s Sea of Cowards (2010) – MAYBE SO
By Chris Moore:
Sea of Cowards (2010) by the Dead Weather
(May 11, 2010)
Tighter and yet even more frenetic than their debut, Sea of Cowards is a fast-paced, distortion-drenched hard rock romp through eleven solid tracks, made all the better for the sharing of vocal duties between Alison Mosshart and Jack White: this album is the realization — and only a year later! — of what I had been hoping for when I referred to the great potential expressed in Horehound (2009).
For Bob Dylan / Dead Weather chords & lyrics, CLICK HERE!
By Chris Moore:
Hello and welcome to yet another delay for the “double header” I promised last week or (technically) two weeks ago. But I have a good reason for holding off! Tonight, I’ve recorded “New Pony,” one of my least favorite Bob Dylan songs, because a brand new cover version was released on last week’s Dead Weather debut album.
First, I’ll give a little background on the original version of the song. “New Pony” was first released on Bob Dylan’s 1978 album Street Legal. To give you a little context here, Dylan had recently released Blood on the Tracks and Desire, arguably two of his best albums. The year 1975 found him fully engaged in the Rolling Thunder Revue along with such artists as Joan Baez, Roger McGuinn of the Byrds, poet Allen Ginsberg, and others. Although he temporarily revived a different incarnation of the Revue in 1976, this phase of Dylan’s musical career was pretty much over by 1977.
This is not to say that life wasn’t busy for him. This was right around the time that his marriage to Sara Dylan was breaking down and the divorce proceedings began. A lot — perhaps too much — has been written about these personal aspects.
Street Legal was the product of a few weeks of sessions involving a select group of musicians that Dylan had recently worked with. Although his past two albums had met with critical success and his subsequent album, 1979’s Slow Train Coming, would earn him his first Grammy award, Street Legal has generally been lost in the valley between these two peaks.
Personally, I have always liked this album. Sure, the female background singers come across as a bit cheesy at times (have you heard “Baby, Stop Crying”?) and the instrumentation can be a bit much at times, but there are some great songs. “Changing of the Guards” is one of my favorite album openers and boasts a rare fade-in. “Is Your Love in Vain?” and “True Love Tends to Forget” are fantastic Dylan deep cuts. And “Senor (Tales of Yankee Power)” is a narrative wrapped in the best, darkest mood you’ve ever felt. (Jerry Garcia recorded a great version of the latter.)
As for “New Pony”? Well, it generally ranks as one of my least favorite Dylan recordings of all time, and certainly on this record. In fact, it’s the very rare track that I may occasionally skip when listening to the album. Why it was placed in the number 2 slot, I’ll never know.
That being said, let’s flash forward to 2009. Last week, the Dead Weather released their debut album, Horehound. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this group, this is a side project band composed of the White Stripes’ Jack White (drums, some vocals, acoustic guitar on one track), the Kills’ Alison Mosshart (lead vocals), Queens of the Stone Age’s Dead Fertita (guitar, etc.), and Jack Lawrence (bass, etc.). I really liked last year’s Raconteurs album (Jack White and Jack Lawrence’s other side project band), so I figured I would give this one a shot as well.
Long review short, I was not as impressed as I had hoped to be. (My one-sentence review is coming shortly!) That being said, the album certainly has its moments, and for me, one of the best moments is track seven when they cover Dylan’s “New Pony.”
This is an excellent example of a band you wouldn’t necessarily think of as being heavily influenced by Bob Dylan turning around and pulling off a stand-up interpretation of one of his songs. After hearing it, I thought that this song fit better on this album than it did on Street Legal. In that sense, I was happy to assign “New Pony” to a better place in my estimation of Dylan’s catalog of songs.
So, without further ado, I submit to you my acoustic rendition of the song as a send-up to the 1978 Dylan version and a tip of the hat to the brand-new 2009 version by the Dead Weather. I found that I was psyched to learn this ridiculously easy (at least chord-wise) song. Anyone who visits the Laptop Sessions on any regular basis knows that I’m no stranger to a Bob Dylan cover song, but I never thought I’d be recording this one.
Well, at least not until I ran out of all the other ones in 2045 or so…
I hope you enjoy this, and be sure to stop back tomorrow for Jim Fusco’s Tuesday post, a couple days later for Jeff Copperthite’s Thumpin’ Thursday, and later this week for at least one more post from your truly. (I’ve got so much to say about other music and non-music related topics, but I think this is quite enough for one post!)