“Sister Golden Hair” (America Cover)

Originally posted 2008-02-15 23:16:51. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco:

I’m pretty excited today, as I give you a new band to the Laptop Sessions: America!

I got into this band because of today’s cover song, Sister Golden Hair.  I used to hear it on the radio many times growing up and decided that it would be perfect for a cover song.  I’ve now seen the band America in concert at least ten times, meeting them and getting their autographs on many occasions. They’re great guys and that only helped make them one of my favorite bands.

Jim and Chris with the band America.

I love their album “Homecoming” and will be doing most of the songs off it in the future. But, for now, I give you the tune that started it all for me. Once I found out that this song was from the same guys that did “Horse With No Name”, I had to get the “Best Of” CD. After that, I scoured CT (this was before eBay was huge) for any America CDs I could find. I even bought some of the LPs. The band was surprised to see such a young guy asking to get those signed.  My gravitation towards America was probably due to the fact that I could tell they were influenced by the Beach Boys- their harmonies and melodic songs drew me in.  And, they put a classic rock spin on things- kind of like Crosby, Stills, and Nash, but even more mellow.

“Sister Golden Hair” is really one of my favorite songs.  The chorus is so catchy, but Gerry Beckley (the singer and songwriter for this song) didn’t stop there- he began the song with a great acoustic guitar part and some really cool slide guitar.  One of the reasons why the original recording of “Sister Golden Hair” sounds so good is because Beatles producer George Martin actually produced it!  Yes, that’s right- he even produced a few other albums for America in the mid 70s.  The first song he produced for them was the big hit “Tin Man”.

America had two #1 Billboard hits- “A Horse With No Name” and “Sister Golden Hair”.  It’s a shame they didn’t have a third, because then each member would’ve had their shot at having a Number One Hit.  “A Horse With No Name” was written by Dewey Bunnell, but original member Dan Peek (left in the late 70s, but is now deceased) never got a song up to Number One.  He did have a popular song, though, in “Lonely People”, which is instantly recognizable.  So, I guess all of the band members had their chances to shine.

Like many of my acoustic cover song videos, I’m using my nylon string guitar here.  Sure, it doesn’t sound exactly like the original, but I thought it allowed me to sing over the guitar without shouting.  On the verses, I found that I needed a softer sounding guitar because the tone is so “conversational” and not soaring above the music (like a Beach Boys song would be, for instance).

I hope you all enjoy this America acoustic cover song- truly one of my favorites. Stay tuned for more cover song music videos from the musicians here at the Laptop Sessions video blog!


“Glass King” (America Cover)

Originally posted 2008-04-26 12:42:27. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jeff Copperthite:
Welcome to Saturday’s edition of The Laptop Sessions, where I bring you another song by request. This song, while being an Itunes-only purchasable track, is easily one of the coolest songs by America.

The song is called “Glass King” and is written by Dewey Bunnell. It has a great bluesy guitar riff and sung in that classic Dewey style. It easily translates to acoustic since both Dewey & Gerry Beckley are on acoustic guitars when they play this song live. I became an instant fan of this song once I bought their album “Here & Now” on itunes.

Speaking of which, it is a great, great album. This song should really have been part of it, instead of as a bonus track. Don’t get me wrong – the songs that are part of the “official” album are all great in their own right. After all, it’s America – one of the greatest bands of all!

I hope you enjoy this song, as I am sure this will be added to my live song library for The Laptop Sessions Live Tour (remember, May 16 @ George’s II in Wallingford!)!

Be sure to come back tomorrow, where Jim will kick off another specialty week here at http://www.laptopsessions.com – #1 week! We’ll see you tomorrow for that!

Editor’s Note: Unfortunately, Jeff’s acoustic cover song music videos are no longer on YouTube, but we decided to keep his cover song blog posts up.  We figured these music blog entries would be good for posterity’s sake and because Jeff always gave such insightful posts each Session.  We hope to see Jeff’s impressive catalog of acoustic rock songs here on the Laptop Sessions cover songs and original music blog again in the future.  But, for now, please make sure to check-out hundreds of other acoustic cover songs from all of your favorite bands here on the Laptop Sessions music blog!

“Tin Man” (America Cover)

Originally posted 2008-07-01 18:10:09. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jeff Copperthite:

Thank you for coming by to check out today’s edition of The Laptop Sessions! I am pleased to bring another great cover song video to you today. And it’s a band we have happily covered before (this is my 3rd personally).

Going back to another America song, and another Dewey Bunnell written song, I bring you “Tin Man” from their album “Holiday”. This song was extremely popular (though not quite as much as “A Horse With No Name”) and it helped the album reach gold status. I love the catchy guitar riff and the simple, yet effective vocals to the song.

My fingers are in such pain after doing this song. The main progression is Gmaj7 and Cmaj7, and I decided I wanted to use the exact chord fingerings that Dewey uses. I’m happy it came out well, but i’m sure you’ll notice me having fun with the Gmaj7 chord. That particular fingering can give me some problems, but in this take I did a pretty good job with it.

I hope you enjoy today’s session, and come back tomorrow for another Original song from the one, the only, Jim Fusco! (EDIT: Sorry, was quite sleepy yesterday)

Editor’s Note: Unfortunately, Jeff’s acoustic cover song music videos are no longer on YouTube, but we decided to keep his cover song blog posts up.  We figured these music blog entries would be good for posterity’s sake and because Jeff always gave such insightful posts each Session.  We hope to see Jeff’s impressive catalog of acoustic rock songs here on the Laptop Sessions cover songs and original music blog again in the future.  But, for now, please make sure to check-out hundreds of other acoustic cover songs from all of your favorite bands here on the Laptop Sessions music blog!

“Wednesday Morning” (America Cover)

Originally posted 2008-08-28 20:48:42. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco:

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

To quote Jeff, “The only thing the same about the site is the background’s still gray.”  That describes the work I’ve been doing over the past couple of days.  You’ll notice the new navigation on the top of the homepage, the smaller text in the upper left hand corner, and the left sidebar rearranged.  The best part of all this is the release of the The Laptop Sessions free mp3 download series.  We tried doing it once before, but it was a LOT of work.  Okay, so it’s not as fancy now, but you still get 20 great cover songs in mp3 format as a completely and absolutely FREE download!  You have nothing to lose and a whole lot of music to gain.  I sound like an Oreck XL commercial…

We have 7, yes 7, Volumes released already.  We’re going to do them by Sessions member.  Meaning that a whole volume will be dedicated to 20 of my cover songs in order and the same with Chris, Jeff, and Mike.  Original Wednesday Volumes will be released, as well, and we’ll also come out with a holiday songs version at the end of the year- my favorite kind of music!

So, we already have 140 free mp3s for you to download so you can bring the Laptop Sessions cover songs with you wherever you will go (to quote the Calling)!

Also, you might have noticed that you can leave comments MUCH easier now- you don’t need to register or login to leave a comment for us!  We’d LOVE to read your comments and reply- we’re trying to build a community of Laptop Sessions lovers here that come back on a daily basis to see what’s new.  We hope you’ll be part of that community!

Okay, on to tonight’s video:

“Wednesday Morning” is a great tune written by Gerry Beckley off of the America album, “Human Nature”.  This is one of my favorite albums from them (probably second to “Homecoming”, which is on my list of best albums of all time).  Their new album, “Here and Now”, is great, too, as is their Christmas LP, “Holiday Harmony”.  Noticing all of these albums start with the letter “H”?  Well, about 90% of their albums do!

I love the songwriting of Gerry Beckley.  I’ve gotten to meet him on MULTIPLE occasions after shows.  He even threw me his guitar pick once during a show!  It’s funny that I actually got into America after listening to “Becky, Lamm, and Wilson” for Carl Wilson’s songs.  I knew about Chicago (with Lamm), but didn’t know much about Beckley.  I bought their “Best of” CD and never looked back.  I have every album I could find from them on CD and many on records, too.

“Human Nature” has a TON of classic songs on it, but the catchiest to me was always “Wednesday Morning”.  This album came out shortly after Carl Wilson’s death, and after hearing the “Beckley, Lamm, and Wilson” stuff, I was hurting for new, non-Christmas, material for a long, long time, especially because “Human Nature” was so good.

I hope you enjoy tonight’s Session- my first in the great outdoors!  The next five are also outside, so I hope you get used to it!  It’s been beautiful weather here lately, and at this point, I’ll take ANY excuse to get away from Chris playing off-key renditions (on purpose to annoy me) of “Who Needs Sleep” and “The Hurricane” all night…