“Keep On Going” (Original Wednesday Acoustic Song)

Originally posted 2009-04-29 20:32:23. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Chris Moore:

And welcome one, welcome all to my Laptop Session for this very special Original Wednesday here at your source for the best acoustic cover and original song music videos available on the internet today!  (That’s a mouthful…)

You may be wondering, why is this day so special?

Well, for one, this is the birthday of Laptop Sessions series creator Jim Fusco.  On behalf of the other contributors and the loyal viewers of this blog, I’d like to wish him a very happy 25th birthday!  Only a quarter century in, and he’s accumulated quite a back catalog of music, writing, and side projects.  If you haven’t already, you should head on over to jimfusco.com.

Take it from me: the best gift you can get Jim this year is to spend a measely $10 on his brand new album Halfway There.  Go ahead, check out the album in streaming audio at his official website, or use the search function at the top of this page to listen to Laptop Sessions of many of the Halfway There tracks, read a full review (another one from Jeff coming soon…), and see the beautiful, custom artwork he used for the cover.

Okay, that’s enough plugging for one post.

Tonight’s session is based on a song that I never recorded for an album.  “Keep On Going” is an early track, as you will most likely be able to tell!  Although the words are straightforward and the chord progression is simple, I’ve always liked this little tune.  I originally wrote this song as a direct statement to my best friend (Jim, if you haven’t made the connection yet), assuring him after a rough week that things really will turn out all right, even though people — particularly high school aged people — can be cruel.  I hope he’s seen that to be true, as he’s moved on to college, made many lifelong friends, and become engaged to Becky Daly.  For all you former Pine Loft faithfuls: yes, this is indeed the same Becky Daly of Chris, Jim, and Becky fame!

I still sing “Keep On Going” when I feel stressed out or begin to think something — a relationship, a professional endeavor, etc. — won’t work out.  I hope you like it.

As a final note, stepping back into the present, I just started listening to the new Bob Dylan album, Together Through Life.  In case you’re questioning my devotion, there’s only one reason why I didn’t start listening yesterday: I pre-ordered the album on Amazon.com and didn’t spring for any more than Free Super Saver Shipping.  So, I’m cheap.  What do you want???  :-)

Did I mention I’m loving the album?  As I type, it’s blaring through my room and probably throughout the condo complex.  I may even get a letter in the mail from the condo association condemning me for noise pollution or disturbing the peace or some other such nonsense, but it will be worth it!  I spent the day at school today wearing the Best Buy exclusive Together Through Life t-shirt that Mike so graciously passed along to me from his purchase of the album (thanks again, Fusc!!).  I made certain to wear a white button down shirt today and a narrow tie, so as to have the Dylan t-shirt show through.  Thanks to at least one inquisitive student in each class I taught, I got to talk about the new album at least once every 82 minutes today!

I’ll save my commentary on Together Through Life for the review that will most certainly come, but allow me to share a couple comments.  First, this is not what I was expecting after Love & Theft and Modern Times.  Then again, that’s pretty much what Dylan himself suggested, so I’m not really surprised.  My favorite line thus far is the chorus to track three: “Hell is my wife’s home town.”  As if there’s any question as to whether Dylan’s dry sense of humor is still intact, just listen for his chuckling — yes, his chuckling — in the outro of that song.  Finally, although it’s a slow album to start, just wait for “Jolene” and “Shake Shake Mama” to really get your foot tapping.

And, with that taste of this new Dylan album, I’ll emphatically suggest you need to buy both Halfway There and Together Through Life and be on my merry way.

See you next session!

“The Times They Are A-Changin’” (Bob Dylan Acoustic Folk Cover)

Originally posted 2008-11-03 11:42:05. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Chris Moore:

Never in my life have I felt that this song was more relevant than it is tonight and–especially–tomorrow.  This is Bob Dylan’s classic protest song, “The Times They Are A-Changin.'”  I’ve always appreciated the song, but I don’t think I’ve ever related to it as much as I did tonight as I was recording this music video.  Personally, I have always been more interested in the other songs on Dylan’s album of the same name, such as “Only a Pawn in Their Game” and “The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll.”  Yet, on the eve of the 2008 Presidential election, I could think of no song more fitting to record than this one.

And, God save me, I will be recording “With God On Their Side” for my Thursday video if McCain wins!  (Just search the lyrics to this song if you’ve missed the reference…).

I’ve tended to stay away from Dylan’s protest songs.  I have a great deal of respect for them, but as Dylan himself, I hate to see him labeled simply as “the voice of a generation.”  I am most interested in his more recent material — for instance, I’m still blown away by the new Bootleg Series release.

But tonight is a special occasion.  As I began practicing this song, I found that (although I haven’t heard or played this song for months and months) all the words came to me easily.  Line after line, verse after verse, this song rings so exceptionally true to me.  It doesn’t take a literary critic to connect lines like the following ones to contemporary society:

“Admit that the water around you has grown…”

“Don’t speak too soon, for the wheel’s still in spin…”

“Come senators, congressmen; please heed the call…”

“Don’t criticize what you can’t understand; your sons and your daughters are beyond your command.  Your old road is rapidly aging…”

“Please get out of the new one if you can’t lend a hand!”

There is indeed a reason why Dylan’s lyrics have been lauded for decades, and this song is one of the many that have stood the test of time.  I hope that you’ll listen to the words and consider their meaning, and then think about “the state of this great nation of ours” (to quote the great Ben Folds) — it’s interesting and not so much of a coincidence that Obama’s campaign calls not only for change, but for “Change we can believe in.”  I haven’t been this hopeful for real change for a good long time!

In fact, I was just flipping through a book I bought before the 2004 elections, as I decided who to vote for.  I did a lot of research, reading that book and deciding between Bush and Kerry.  Looking back, I can’t believe I even hesitated on that particular choice.

This year, I saved the ten bucks I would have spent on a new campaign book, as I didn’t need to do any further research beyond the Presidential debates and subsequent news reports and fact checks, not to mention the SNL skits.

Well, I’m just rambling now, as I’m tired and currently in bed, listening to acoustic Dylan and dreaming of… well, dreaming!  Sleep is good.  Change is also good.  As my super-cool sister reminded me today, how could Obama not win with a catch-phrase like “BA-ROCK the vote!”

Okay; that’s it for me for a few days, but please hurry back to read Jeff’s election night blog post and Jim’s post-election Original Wednesday (I’m anxious to see what appropriate song he’ll choose).  Then, I’ll be back on Thursday.

See you next session!

 

“To Be Alone With You” (Bob Dylan Cover)

Originally posted 2008-03-13 22:28:05. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco:

Just to prove that Chris isn’t the only one that listens to Bob Dylan, I give you one of my favorites of his, “To Be Alone With You” from “Nashville Skyline”.

I did this song originally on my “That’s All Folks” album, but couldn’t keep on the version I sold because of royalties.

I hope you enjoy my Laptop Session version! Coming up next week is my Original Wednesday, and I’ve already got my next two planned out. Make sure to check back every day!


The Bob Dylan Starter Compilation – Playlists on Parade

Originally posted 2010-05-01 16:56:00. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Chris Moore:

I’ve been wanting to kick this off for a few months now, but the time has finally arrived…

One of my goals for 2010 is to review every Bob Dylan studio album before New Year’s Day 2011.  This will include both one-sentence reviews in the “Yes, No, or Maybe So” series and full-out segments of “The Weekend Review.”  Unless he surprises us again, Dylan’s total studio album count is at thirty-two (I don’t count Dylan or Christmas in the Heart as studio albums), so I figured that I’d better get moving on this goal.

The Bob Dylan “Starter Compilation” is a playlist that I assembled with my girlfriend Nicole a while back as I continued to introduce her to the massive catalog of my favorite singer/songwriter of all time.  For anyone who knows me, it will come as no surprise that she had heard quite an array of Dylan songs already, most of them via the CD player in my car.  As we sorted through my iTunes software, she pointed to songs she loved and I played her songs that she hadn’t heard yet.  After a great deal of listening, discussing, arranging, and rearranging, we came up with a seventeen track layout.  I just updated it to eighteen tracks to include a sampling from his 2009 album Together Through Life.

So, without further ado, here’s the playlist.  Thanks to iTunes and other such services, you could easily download these tracks and start listening today.  For anyone unfamiliar with but interested in Dylan’s music, I’ve included the album that each song was originally released on, as well as a ranking for each album.  The 5’s are albums you should listen to right away, ranging down to the 0’s which are only for the true Dylan fanatics.  And there are some great albums that aren’t represented here (Desire being perhaps the most notable), but I had to make some hard decisions to make this the best playlist for a first-time listener.  Don’t hesitate to comment, criticize, etc. below…

See you tomorrow for the Weekend Review!

TRACK LISTING

1)   “Someday Baby” From Modern Times (2006) 3

2)   “Maggie’s Farm” From Bringing It All Back Home (1965) 5

3)   “Like A Rolling Stone” From Highway 61 Revisited (1965) 4

4)   “Simple Twist of Fate” From Blood on the Tracks (1975) 4

5)   “Political World” From Oh Mercy (1989) 3

6)   “Blowin’ in the Wind” From The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan (1963) 5

7)   “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” From The Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid Soundtrack (1973) 0

8)   “I Want You” From Blonde on Blonde (1966) 5

9)   “Lay Lady Lay” From Nashville Skyline (1969) 1

10) “Sweetheart Like You” From Infidels (1983) 2

11) “All Along the Watchtower” From John Wesley Harding (1968) 1

12) “Honest With Me” From Love & Theft (2001) 5

13) “The Times They Are A-Changin’” From The Times They A-Changin’ (1964) 2

14) “I Feel A Change Comin’ On” From Together Through Life (2009) 1

15) “Just Like A Woman” From Blonde on Blonde (1966) 5

16) “Tangled Up In Blue” From Blood on the Tracks (1975) 4

17) “Down in the Flood (New Version)” From The Masked and Anonymous Soundtrack (2003) 0

18) “Forever Young” From Planet Waves (1974) 2

(Album Ratings: 0-5 – “5” for the albums you should hear first, down to “0” which are for fans only!)