“Ripple” by Grateful Dead (Cover)

By Jim Fusco:

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!