“Wichita Lineman” (Glen Campbell Cover)

Originally posted 2009-02-09 23:58:33. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Chris Moore:

For Glen Campbell Chords/Lyrics, click here!

Hello and welcome to my first cover song music video for the blog in just about two weeks!  Those of you who are acquainted with my work here on the Laptop Sessions blog will appreciate just how long a break from recording that is.  After all, I spent the entirety of 2008 — along with Jim and Jeff — recording a session every three days.  So, when you look at it this way, two weeks off is an eternity!

That being said, I’m back tonight with a song from a new artist to the blog — Glen Campbell.  Campbell is a name you’ve probably heard before, as he’s been working in the realm of popular music ever since the 1960s.  I first remember him from the story of the Beach Boys, as he filled in for Brian Wilson as a touring bassist in 1964 and 1965.  Having come from a family of twelve, a group with three brothers must have been a piece of cake for him to handle!

What I had forgotten about Glen Campbell is that he was a member of the famous Wrecking Crew, along with other studio musicians like Hal Blaine and Carol Kaye.  He has played guitar on such popular recordings as the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds, the Righteous Brothers’ “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling,” and the Monkees’ “I’m A Believer.”  He also played on tracks by other artists such as Elvis Presley, Bobby Darin, Ricky Nelson, Merle Haggard, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Jan & Dean, the Mamas and the Papas, and many more.

What a resume!

So, why did I decide to record a Glen Campbell song out of the blue?  Why have I encroached upon the usual Jim Fusco territory of the 1960s?  The answer is simple — Glen Campbell is releasing a new compilation tomorrow entitled Glen Campbell: Greatest Hits , and I thought it appropriate to pay tribute to him.  I especially like “Wichita Lineman,” perhaps because it sounds like a cross between the Beach Boys and the Moody Blues.  I say this because it’s got that great, bassy surf guitar-ish sound on the solo, and it has very obvious Justin Hayward inflections, particularly in the vocals and the Moody Blues-esque flute sounds.  So, having decided on “Wichita Lineman,” I got in front of my laptop, searched the Glen Campbell official website for a clip, went to YouTube to watch Glen Campbell playing it, and set about transcribing and practicing.  I’m glad that I’ve decided to post chords (tabs / how to play) for all my songs this year, as I looked around for chords online and didn’t find any sites with correct chords and lyrics.  So, if you’re interested in playing the song, refer to the information you find here – it’s hot off the presses!

Well, that’s it for me tonight.  I’d love to write more, but after my double posting yesterday, I’m pretty worn out!  Seriously though, I hope you’ve checked out my posts about the Grammy Awards and the TNA Pay-Per-View.  If you haven’t, I think that at least the Grammys post is worth a read for any fan of rock music.

Without further ado, here’s my latest cover song music video.  Hurry back tomorrow for an all-new Jim Fusco Tuesday Laptop Session…

See you next session!

“When Love Comes to Town” (U2 & B.B. King Cover)

Originally posted 2009-03-02 21:36:54. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

For U2 chords and lyrics, CLICK HERE!   /   For B.B. King chords and lyrics, CLICK HERE!

By Chris Moore:

Hello and welcome to a brand new week.  Thanks for spending a little bit of it here on the Laptop Sessions music video blog with the latest edition of “Chris Moore Monday.”  No one understands the pressure I’m under!  I mean, there’s a lot riding on this video — if I’m good, I’m helping your week get off on the right foot.  If I’m not so good, then…  Well, let’s not even consider that option.

For tonight’s selection, I’m doing something that I’ve only done once before…

…make an enjoyable recording!  No, I’m just kidding.  (Not about the “enjoyable” part, I hope…)

This is only the second time that I’ve recorded a song by not only one but two artists whose work I’ve never played before.  Tonight’s subjects?  U2 and B.B. King.  (Jeff has already recorded U2, but B.B. King is a new addition to the blog.)  Why, you may ask?  Well, the big “New Music Tuesday” release of tomorrow, March 3rd, is No Line on the Horizon, U2’s first new studio album in five years.  It’s already making waves, having received a five-star rating from Rolling Stone magazine.  Now, I’m not often one to agree with Rolling Stone, but I am very curious about this album.  After all, Rolling Stone has never given U2 the five star salute.  Bono and company have come close, earning 4.5 stars for 1991’s Achtung, Baby, but this is the first time they’ve received 5 stars for an original studio release.

To be fair, this isn’t their first 5 out of 5 star experience — the band’s re-release of The Joshua Tree was granted 5 stars.  I just listened to that album last night for the first time, and although I wouldn’t give it five stars, I very much enjoyed it.  The first three tracks are a veritable U2 greatest hits, and there are several deep cuts that are great songs.

So, tomorrow is a new music Tuesday to look forward to.  To hold you over, I’ve gone back into the U2 catalog and hauled out an oldie but goodie.  “When Love Comes to Town” was originally released in 1988 on Rattle and Hum (a title that is taken from lyrics in the song “Bullet the Blue Sky,” from The Joshua Tree).  This is a song I have always loved — there’s such an energy between Bono and King’s vocals and the addition of King’s guitar to the instrumental mix.  I have always felt that the song had a timeless feel, and I would have loved to hear someone like Johnny Cash record a version of it.  So, for my cover song music video version tonight, I’ve slowed it down a bit and taken it down an octave (which is convenient, since my vocal chords are no match for Bono’s typical soaring range!).

The result?

Just like I thought, this song has such a classic feel to it that it lends itself to a stripped-down acoustic arrangement.  Still, my version is no match for the energy, emotion, and rocking presence of the studio version!  (And I can’t quite figure out what “catch that flame” means…  I sing “catch that plane,” which is what I’ve always thought he said, but the official U2 lyrics page says “flame.”  Oh, well…)

I hope you enjoy this U2 cover, and I hope it tides you over until tomorrow’s release of No Line on the Horizon.  Until then and until an all-new Jim Fusco Tuesday…

See you next session!

Bruce Hornsby: LIVE IN CONCERT – MGM Grand, Mashantucket, CT (March 27, 2009) – REVIEW

Originally posted 2009-03-28 23:43:50. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Chris Moore:

Right off the bat, I have to address how proud I am of myself that I was able to suppress the strong urge to title this concert review “That’s Just the Way It Was.”  As tempting as it was, I’m sure it’s already been used somewhere by someone…

At 8:02 on Friday night at the MGM Grand, only two minutes after the official start time of the concert, Bruce Hornsby appeared unceremoniously by walking out of the shadows, approaching his piano from stage right.  No announcements, no opening band.  (For a moment, I thought this might be a technician coming out for one last equipment inspection – and, if you’ve ever seen America perform, you know how many times it’s possible for a techie to inspect and tune  the guitars!)

As he neared the piano, he surveyed the assortment of papers strewn about the top of his piano.  Notes to himself?  A set list?  Lyrics for the less familiar tunes?

Negative, on all accounts.

Apparently, Hornsby does not work from a setlist.  Instead, he takes in requests from the audience before shows in the form 0f handwritten song titles slipped onto the stage.  His offical website reports, “Yes, it’s true. Bruce does not have a set list for his concerts. He comes up with the set list through requests from the audience. So, if you attend a concert, be sure to carry paper to write your requests on and place them on the stage.”  This is a novel approach, to be certain.  I wanted to participate in the process, but I have only been a “greatest hits” fan.  Aside from that, I would have had to design a paper airplane that was a marvel of physics in order to have my request reach the stage from my seat in the “Parterre” section of the MGM Grand theater, which is French for orchestra seats (and, apparently, English for “far away from the stage, but still technically on the ground level”).

After a brief, positive commentary from Hornsby about the array of requests, he started into the first song.  From the moment his hands touched the keys, it was apparent that he is truly a masterful musician, one of the few that is able to blend intricate classical arrangements into catchy pop/rock, country, and bluesgrass songs.

His first couple selections were played alone, but he was soon joined onstage by the Noise Makers (J.T. Thomas on keyboards, Bobby Read on saxophones (etc.), J.V. Collier on bass, Doug Derryberry on lead guitar, and Sonny Emory on drums).  Soon after, they launched into the first song with which I was familiar.  “Every Little Kiss” was all piano riffs and rock’n roll catchiness.  Well, maybe more adult contemporary than rock, but…

This was the first of several “greatest radio hits” tracks that Hornsby and the Noise Makers performed, much to the delight of my father and I.  Overall, the set list was a diverse collection of the hits, the deep tracks, and covers.  Some were note-for-note replicas of studio versions, such as “The Good Life,” while others were stripped apart and turned inside out, like “The Way It Is.”  There was a definite, if controlled sense of a jam band mentality.  During the final jam of the main set, Hornsby slipped from one song to the next, folding in a couple of high-energy verses from Bob Dylan’s “It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry.”  I had begun to tire of the jamming by the end of the show, and this fine touch really brought it all back home for me. (Please send your criticisms of that shameless pun to Chris, care of a comment below…)

At one point, Hornsby left the piano to strap on his accordion and take center stage for two songs.  As he approached the microphone with the new instrument, he commented that he had recently been with Levon Helm.  He introduced the following song by saying that this would please those in the crowd who enjoyed nostalgia, as this was a track from the band — namely, “Evangelne.”  The version did not disappoint and proved further that Hornsby is nothing if not an excellent multi-instrumentalist.

Hornsby was a personable, likable figure onstage.  In between songs, he kept a running commentary going, reflecting on the state of the economy and thanking everyone for coming out to see him perform all the same.  Early on, he revealed that Foxwoods management had told him to play for only 65 minutes.  Just over an hour for some who had paid $50 plus a “convenience” charge — that’s outrageous!  In his very laid-back manner, he said about as much and said they would stretch it to 90 minutes or so.  It sounded as if they told him that 65 minutes was the suggestion and 90 minutes was the outside limit.  He was true to his word, as the main set took the show’s running time to just over an hour and a half plus an encore.

Later on in the show, he expressed how happy he was that he remembered all the words to a track from his first album, a song that he played by request.

On the whole, this was a truly enjoyable concert.  I have an increased respect for Hornsby’s abilities as a pianist and performer, the Noise Makers were a flexible and vastly talented group, and the MGM Grand is a comfortable environment with excellent acoustics.  For my taste, there was too much of a jam band mentality on many of the selections — even Hornsby commented at one point that, due to the time limitations, the songs would be shorter than usual.  Maybe that’s not a bad thing, he said.  He continued, “There’s a fine line between self-expression and self-indulgence,” glancing with a grin to his bandmates.  I couldn’t agree more.

This concert was a bonding experience of sorts for me, as my father is a longtime fan of Hornsby and an even longer-time fan of the song “The Way It Is.”  While we both enjoyed the show, the low point of the show was indisputably their performance of the aforementioned hit single.  Aside from the initial keyboard blast of the familiar riff, the song was given a new, more jumpy tempo and the tune was stripped apart into an understated sequence of lines.  There was none of the charm of the studio version, and all biases being admitted, this version was nothing to brag about on its own.  For those five minutes, I appreciated what it must be like to attend a Dylan concert expecting to hear faithful versions of his hits, only to be met with deep tracks and rearranged versions.  Still, I maintain that the Dylan live experience offers up new and interesting, entertaining takes on his songs, whereas this was disappointing from all angles.

Regardless, the show as a whole was well worth the $35, and is an experience that I will remember fondly for years to come.  Part of that comes out of a bias, but this time a positive one!

“That Was Then, This Is Now” (Monkees Cover)

Originally posted 2008-06-14 15:59:29. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco:

Welcome to your Saturday dose of The Laptop Sessions, brought to you by me, Jim Fusco!

Today, I’m doing a fairly-unknown song that’s technically only by Mickey Dolenz and Peter Tork, but billed as the Monkees. This song was on their first greatest hits CD in the late eighties and actually continues to make appearances on “Best Of” albums. I love this song and I’ve known it for many years now. Actually, the Monkees were my favorite band before I found out about the Beach Boys. I LOVED that Monkees Greatest Hits CD when I was like 4, and I find that I still love all the songs today.

They didn’t write this song, but in a few weeks, I’ll be putting another Monkees song that they did write (by Michael Nesmith) on http://laptopsessions.com .

We also did a radio show on our free internet radio station, WCJM Internet Radio at http://wcjm.com , called the “That Was Then, This Is Now” Show. This show not only featured this song, but also featured songs (and comedy skits) that give a look at bands both then and now.

I think this Session may fall under the same category that my most famous, “I’m So Lonely”, video falls under: the over-produced and way-too-eighties-sounding songs that I took and made into an acoustic song. These versions always tend to come out the best because you can just LISTEN to the real song and cut through the production.

That’s why I’m always a big fan of people that use production to make the song the best it can sound, but not just “make” the song. That’s why Brian Wilson is so great: he wrote (and writes) great songs, then uses the production to make them shine even better. But, they’d still be great songs without all the instrumentation, which is what I try to prove with these cover songs on the Laptop Sessions.

On a slightly different note, I think it’s obvious by now that we’re doing all of these cover songs because we’re songwriters and the only way we can think of people showing interest in our original music is to play other people’s songs right along with it. I figure, if you like the same songs I like and I write similar songs to the songs I like (in general, of course), you’ll like my music by the transitive property!

With that said, I hope you’re checking out our weekly “Original Wednesday” songs and going to my original music website at jimfusco.com. We have some pretty great stuff- we’re not looking to make a fortune, although we are looking for people to pay….attention!!

Thanks for watching today’s Laptop Session and stay tuned for Chris’ new song tomorrow!