Here again with another Laptop Session for Christmas! This song, originally made famous by the supergroup Band-Aid, has been a favorite of mine since I was little.
I got 4/5 of MoU together and we did this tune in Fusco-Moore Studios a couple days ago. We had a lot of fun with it- a bit too much fun, considering the subject matter of the song. Please note that we don’t take the subject of starvation in third-world countries lightly- we just had a lot of fun getting together and singing Christmas songs!
I hope you’ve enjoyed The Laptop Sessions’ tribute to Christmas over these past few weeks. I’m already looking forward to next year! I hope everyone gets what they’re hoping for this Christmas- and the Laptop Sessions will be back again in a couple days!
Hello everyone! Continuing with our last couple days of Christmas, we give you “Elf’s Lament”, a great song by Barenaked Ladies. We’ve always been happy with the way our live version came out, so I got the guys together to do a special acoustic version for the Laptop Sessions! This song was perfect for the band to do because it features vocal parts for three members of the band. Well, in this version, Mike isn’t sitting behind a large (and loud) drum set, so he got to sing the lead parts with the other three of us. I’ve always been a fan of songs where two or three members of the band get a chance to sing. Songs like “Two of Us” by the Beatles and “Walking On Air” by the Moody Blues (off of their amazing 1999 album, Strange Times) are great examples where you can hear all of the band members. And, my favorite bands are ones where each member gets a chance to shine.
Which brings me to the band that we covered tonight: Barenaked Ladies. Their Christmas album, “Barenaked for the Holidays’ is awesome. Four of the five (at the time) members wrote and sang lead vocals on songs throughout the album. That, to me, is the mark of a truly great band. You get so much variety in an album and that’s probably why I’m such a big fan of the Moody Blues, the Byrds, the Beatles, and the Beach Boys (after 1967). “Barenaked for the Holidays” features such classic songs as “Green Christmas” and Steven Page’s “Hanukkah Blessings”.
“Elf’s Lament” was originally done by Ed Robertson, Steven Page, and Michael Bublé. I’m not a huge fan of Bublé’s voice in this song- it just has an odd sound to it. And, saying his voice sounds odd next to Steven Page’s voice is really saying something. So, we stuck Cliff with that part to sing. I got the Steven Page part. This song was so much fun to sing. It was a big hit on our Christmas concert CD and DVD set. For that show, we performed in front of over 60 people, including the mayor of our hometown of Wallingford, CT. It was one of the highlights of my musical career. We just had so much fun playing this song- I wish there were more songs like this that give everyone a chance to shine. I think everyone else in the band would’ve stayed more interested. Knowing you have a starring role makes you pay more attention for sure!
To learn more about our music, please visit http://jimfusco.com/albums.html. You can purchase our Christmas concert on either CD or DVD there. It’s jam-packed with 30 (yes, 30!) original and cover songs. I personally think it’s the best Christmas album you can buy for the money. I hope you enjoy tonight’s Barenaked Ladies cover song and hope you’ll come back for more great Christmas songs from the Laptop Sessions acoustic cover songs music video blog!
Welcome, welcome to another edition of the Laptop Sessions in high definition! Tonight, I bring you the second video from last week’s recording session. This one is truly a classic off of one of my favorite all-time albums: Elvis Presley’s 1957 Christmas Album.
“Blue Christmas” is a song everyone knows. And, I’m pretty sure that with tonight’s recording, that every single musician in the last 50 years has recorded a version of it. I happen to do mine in Elvis’ style, but I love Brian Wilson’s version on the Beach Boys Christmas Album, too. But, while Brian’s version is sad and melancholy, Elvis gives this song so much raw soul. It’s his “uh-huh” singing at its best and is on my list of “perfect recordings”. Those are the songs (like, for instance, the Beach Boys’ “God Only Knows”) that couldn’t be any better- just the perfect blend of instrumentation, songwriting style, vocals, etc.
Of course, “Blue Christmas” was even recorded earlier than Elvis’s version- as early as 1948! But, Elvis made it a rock song and that’s the version that everyone knows.
I got to use my colleague Noreen’s 12-string Gibson acoustic from 1967 on this one- what a great sound! It was so much fun to play. When you’re using that guitar in a room with good acoustics, you feel like you’re a one man band. I’m loving this new setup. And, this week’s video was much easier to edit- literally took just a minute until it was rendering. It’s such a nice feeling to get something done right the first time.
On a personal note, things have never been busier. Whether it’s decorating the house, going shopping, cooking, working, etc. I’m never just sitting and relaxing. I have a feeling it’s going to be like this until after the New Year, but I tell ya- I need some more sleep! I’m looking forward to a couple of work parties, a couple of get-togethers at the new house, and general Christmas cheer.
If you haven’t done it yet, head on over to WCJM Free Internet Radio at wcjm.com and click on the Moore Hits in the Morning radio in the center of the screen. You’ll then be taken to all of our radio shows that you can listen to absolutely free- click on any of the numerous Christmas shows and get ready to laugh! They’re really entertaining and I listen to each of them at least twice each Christmas season to get me in that yuletide mood.
Okay, off to bed now- make sure to keep checking back this week for more great articles and videos from the Only Music Blog- The Laptop Sessions!
Welcome to the first-ever Laptop Sessions acoustic cover song music video in high definition, which I’ve dubbed, “LSHD”. I’m so excited to be on the cutting-edge of technology and hope that more YouTube viewers will see my cover song music videos because of the enhanced new look.
But, what a project doing this for the first time… Even on my fast Mac Pro, it still took almost an hour just to render this video, and then the audio and video sync kept going off. So, it was a project that took WAY more time than anticipated. I think I have a pretty good system going now, so I hope the future music videos will be a bit easier to produce.
Tonight, I enlisted the help of my colleague Noreen’s 1967 Gibson 12-string acoustic guitar. It’s pretty sweet, as you see in the video, but also sounds pretty great, as well. It’s really easy to play and has a very powerful sound. As soon as I picked it up a couple weeks ago, “Holiday” from the Bee Gees just popped into my head. Something about that 12-string sound that just reminded me of this song. So, I knew I had to have it for this video, and I knew I wanted something special for my first one in HD.
Actually, this is also my first music video from my new house, which I share with my new wife. Yes, the awesome studio is long gone now, but I’ve got a pretty good setup here in one of our spare bedrooms. Someday I’ll rebuild the studio, but I don’t think it’ll be in the house. We’ll see.
“Holiday” is one of those songs I’ve known for all my 25 years. My father put it on his famous Christmas compilation cassette tape set and we heard it every year. It took me quite a long time to realize that this wasn’t necessarily a Christmas song, though I do hear it on the oldies stations during this time of year. I thought it would be a nice way to usher in the “season”. Actually, there are a lot of songs that aren’t really Christmas songs, but I’ll always consider them to be: “Another Morning” from the Moody Blues (off of Days of Future Passed, which is about “a child’s world”, which my father thought reminded him of Christmas), “Eyes of a Child” by the Moody Blues (off of To Our Children’s Children’s Children, which my father took to mean like the birth of a child, like Jesus), “Christmas” by the Who (which is only loosely based on the holiday of Christmas), and “My Sweet Lord” by George Harrison (which is a song praising God, but says nothing about the holiday). Again, they’ll always be Christmas songs to me.
I’m glad I got to know this song- it’s a good tune. The early Bee Gees were really good and I enjoy many of their early hits. They’re a band that really re-invented themselves in the seventies. It’s almost like two completely different bands. Plus, you know I love a group of brothers that write their own songs and sing in harmony, so it’s a perfect fit!
I never really understood the words to this song, but now I know why- it’s because I still had the kid’s understanding of the lyrics that I thought I “learned” when I was little. I mean, I learned the words maybe 20 years ago, but my vocabulary then was not what it is now. So, the line, “put the soft pillow on my head” always came out as “but there’s something upon my head”. No wonder it never made any sense to me.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy my first LSHD video and hope you’ll come back next week for another (and a REAL) Christmas classic! Welcome to the new era of the Laptop Sessions.